|Statue of Jefferson reading from the Declaration of Independence, University of Virginia|
On January 16, 1786, the Virginia General Assembly enacted the statute into the state's law. It disestablished the Church of England in Virginia and guaranteed freedom of religion to people of all religious faiths, including Catholics and Jews as well as members of all Protestant denominations.
After the Confederacy fell, Moses Ezekiel studied sculpting in Berlin and then Rome, where he was made to live in impoverished Jewish ghettos he later called a “place of tears.” The four spirits surrounding the bell of his statue embody four Jeffersonian ideals – Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Religious Freedom.
Thomas Jefferson and his era.