Joseph Roswell Hawley c. 1908 bronze high relief medallion. State Capitol, North façade, left wall of portico

On October 18, 1912 memorials to Joseph Roswell Hawley, done by Adams, and to Orville Hitchcock Platt, done by Hermon Atkins MacNeil (q. v.), were dedicated at the State Capitol building in Hartford. Ordered by the Connecticut State Commission of Sculpture and specific committees set up to sponsor the memorials, each bronze medallion depicts a larger than life size figure in high relief and is encircled by a marble foliate border. Work on the two memorials was underway as of 1908.

Statesman-General Hawley (1826-1905) is seen in three-quarter length, dressed in military costume, his left hand grasping the handle of his sword. His face is seen in profile, its solemn expression and his concentrated stare appropriate for a man of his accomplishments. To the left of the central figure of Hawley is a list, including dates, of his military service; to the right, a list, including dates, of political offices held. As Hawley served as Governor of Connecticut from 1866-1867, the Arms of the State appears under the list of political offices. Around the outside of the medallion’s foliate border, Hawley’s full name, birth and death dates, and the words “Patriot Soldier Statesman” are inscribed.

The portrait is idealized in that Adams’ choice of stance and expression communicates a sense of purpose and commitment. However, the wrinkled face and idiosyncratic features impart a distinctly human element. This along with the animated treatment of the sculpted surface reflects Adams’ Paris training.