Louisiana Slave Memorial

The Field of Angels

The field of Angels is a section of the slave memorial dedicated to 2,200 Louisiana slave children who died before their third birth date and documented in the Sacramental Records of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Their names are engraved on granite slabs along with quotes describing their everyday life. There are no indications of death rates in the plantation inventories but further documentation from the Sacramental Records of the Archdiocese of New Orleans reveals earliness of motherhood among the enslaved women and high mortality among their children. Thirty-nine children died on this plantation from 1823 to 1863, only six reaching the age of five. The level of this death toll can be better understood when one thinks of a house where a child dies every year. Some of the children, either on this site or elsewhere, died in tragic circumstances such as drowning, epidemics, being burned or hit by lightning.A black angel carrying a baby to Heaven is built in the middle of the field. Rod Moorhead made this bronze sculpture. The latter’s work ranges from small clay figures to large bronzes. In 1993 he started Southside Gallery in Oxford, Mississippi, and was co-owner until 1997. Among his public commissions are Concerto, a seventeen foot bronze of a violinist and cellist which stands in front of the Gertrude Ford Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Mississippi, and a life size sculpture of James Meredith for the Civil Rights Memorial also at the University of Mississippi. He has work in the Roger Ogden Collection in New Orleans, and the collection of Morgan Freeman, among others.