SPRINGFIELD'S SCULPTURES,            Carl and Roberta Volkmann
MONUMENTS, AND PLAQUES              cvolk@aol.com
Government Buildings
Representing the Mexican government, the Honorable
Carlos M. Sada, Consul General of Mexico in Chicago,
and Mexican Federal Senator Emilia Patricia Gomez
presented this cast metal sculpture of legendary
Mexican President Benito Juarez to the Abraham
Lincoln Presidential Library on March 27, 2006.  The
bust, by Mexican artist Tiburico Ortiz, honors the two
hundredth anniversary of the birth of Benito Juarez
who has often been called Mexico’s Lincoln.
The careers of contemporaries Lincoln (1809-1865) and Juarez (1806-1872) had many
parallels.  Both came from humble beginnings, trained as lawyers, and successfully led
their countries in war.  Documented evidence reveals that the two men respected and
supported each other.  When Juarez was forced to flee Mexico City and establish a
government in exile in Vera Cruz in 1858, Lincoln sent him a letter of support.   In 1863
Lincoln sent arms and munitions to Juarez’s army in their struggle to regain their
capitol from Archduke Maximilian of Austria, leader of the puppet government
established by Napoleon. Demonstrating loyalty to Lincoln’s cause, Juarez resisted
overtures by the Confederate government to form an alliance.  
Tom Schwartz, then interim Director of
the Abraham Lincoln Presidential
Library, made these observations as
he accepted the bust of Benito Juarez:
“Abraham Lincoln and Benito Juarez
represent the right to rise and the
importance of law in democratic
societies.  Both men were war
presidents with Lincoln preserving the
Union and Juarez defeating foreign
oppressors.  Ultimately, both leaders
laid the foundations for modern
democratic societies.”