The Madonna of the Trail is a series of twelve statues placed along Rt 40 the Old National Trails Road. The Pennsylvania Madonna was the tenth in the series and was dedicated December 8, 1928. It is located in Beallsville on Rt. 40 near Washington, Pennsylvania. The statues were designed by sculptor August Leimbach. They were dedicated to the pioneer spirit of women. They provide a symbol of the courage and faith of the women whose strength and love aided so greatly in settlement of the frontiers. It is also a reminder of the pioneer spirit of all women - from our revolutionary ancestors to present.
Phoebe Fraunces was George Washington’s black housemaid. Her lover, Thomas Hickey, was one of General Washington’s bodyguards. Hickey had been convinced to join the British side and was conspiring to kill Washington. Hickey asked Phoebe to poison Washington’s peas, and she agreed in order to learn Hickey’s plans. She informed Washington and in the presence of Hickey, he threw the poisoned peas out an open window into the yard. Chickens ate the peas and died immediately. Hickey was convicted of conspiring to kill the General and was hung.