Which #NOLA Monument Will Fall Next?

Despite the headlines, the Liberty Place Monument does not directly commemorate the Confederacy. Properly understood, it commemorates an event that took place during Reconstruction in New Orleans. This is an important distinction with the other three monuments commemorating Generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard and President Jefferson Davis.

The failure to properly identify this monument has everything to do with the place of Reconstruction in our collective memory, which is essentially non-existent. At the same time these monuments do form one consistent and important narrative. The Liberty Place Monument commemorates an attempt to return to the antebellum racial status quo, which Davis, Lee, Beauregard, and the Confederacy as a whole failed to protect.

With that said, now is your opportunity to share which of the three remaining monuments you think will be the next to come down.

You can vote on Twitter or share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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20 comments… add one
  • Julian May 7, 2017 @ 0:41

    And someone has made the suggestion that Joan of Arc should be added to the list of monuments slated for removal – although TED NOLA distances itself from the graffiti certainly, it suggests that some people have a fairly poor understanding of history http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/05/joan_of_arc_statue_graffiti_te.html

    • Andy Hall May 7, 2017 @ 15:56

      Apparently Henry VI has some fans in the Crescent City. Who knew?

  • Julian May 2, 2017 @ 2:44

    Another article this time from outside the US that seeks to trace the complexity of the New Orleans historical racial and social experience


  • Julian May 2, 2017 @ 2:36


    A very interesting article about diversity amongst the monument defenders, including people of colour who in the author’s words “genuinely could not connect the dots to racism and the Confederacy” which surprises the author whose beliefs tend to the opposite direction, but this inability or unwillingness to make these blanket links that some see es self evident also suggests that there are multiple views out there, and removal will never be at the will of all the people, and that not every person in a given community thinks en bloc with his or her peers

    • Kevin Levin May 2, 2017 @ 2:45

      Thanks for passing this along. I cover this topic in my book on black Confederates when it comes to understanding people like H.K. Edgerton.

      • Julian May 15, 2017 @ 8:24

        well ARE they all the same as HK? … you’ve certainly rightfully exposed the amusing truth that HK – like washed up sports stars at local sportsclub dinners and pseudo-celebrities at fashion launches – does not turn up unless the fees are paid and the alfs all think the guest is there to honour them and their organisation, (and HK may in fact be laughing all the way to the bank) but without asking these pro-monument protestors of minority background personally and investigating their background, no one can second guess their motivations, not all of them may require the equivalent of Naomi Campbell’s fabled 20,000 GBP before she gets up and leaves her house (as she once famously remarked or supposedly remarked). People can surely be sincere AND hold differing opinions to you. BTW HK has a wikipedia page with a caveat upon it that the page does not meet the criteria for good practice for biographies of living people …

        • Kevin Levin May 15, 2017 @ 9:26

          I should have been more careful with that response. I didn’t mean to suggest that every African American holds the same views as H.K. In fact, I have acknowledged as much on this blog.

  • James Simcoe Apr 26, 2017 @ 11:52

    Time for a monument to Longstreet!

    • Julian May 2, 2017 @ 2:45

      but better than the strange one at Gettsburg that looks like its been stolen off a caroussel

  • Eric A. Jacobson Apr 26, 2017 @ 5:01

    I suspect the contractor who bid this is going to move as quickly as they can because as far as the work goes there is no difference between the three. They might also continue to do the work at night. Frankly, it is easier and not dissimilar to road crews who work from midnight to 6 am.

    • Kevin Levin Apr 26, 2017 @ 5:03

      I agree, but I assume the city is making the decision regarding the order in which they are removed. And I assume that some thought is being given to that order. That was the point of the poll.

  • Eric A. Jacobson Apr 26, 2017 @ 4:47

    I agree about the Liberty Place, but I am confused by the rest of the post. Why does it matter which of the next three comes down first or last? Something about approaching this event (or series of events) with a poll smacks of being incongruous, at least to me.

    • Kevin Levin Apr 26, 2017 @ 4:54

      Hi Eric,

      Guess I am assuming that the decision will be made, in part, based on assumptions about the public’s understanding of who is being taken down. Beauregard is probably the least known so perhaps they will begin with him rather than Lee or Davis. I don’t know. Just a thought.

  • David McCallister Apr 25, 2017 @ 11:37

    President Davis – he is the least well known and beloved.
    Gen. Beauregard is a favorite son, and Gen. Lee is a genuine national hero.
    None of them should be removed just to placate a Orwellian revisionist narrative of hate and misinformation.

    I fully agree about the failure to make a proper distinction between the the monuments to the persons of Lee, Davis, and Beauregard, and the event monument.

    I’d have much more interest in maintaining the “person” monuments than the “event” monument. Nevertheless, attempts at revision of history and erascism of any form is not good.
    Once the ball starts rolling on cultural genocide, it is hard to stop.

    • B Thomas Apr 25, 2017 @ 12:46

      A national hero doesn’t do everything in their power to destroy their nation. A national hero does not turn their back on their nation during that nation’s darkest hour.

      Lee is as much of a national hero as Osama Bin Laden. Actually Lee killed more Americans and hurt the country way more than Bin Laden managed to do himself. I think a case could be made that Lee was more anti-American that the Taliban or Isis ever was.

      But certain folk will white (supremacy) wash over the fact that he caused more brutal and violent deaths than any serial killer that ever lived.

    • Kristoffer Apr 25, 2017 @ 16:46

      Lee was no hero. Lee was slime: http://roberteleepark.blogspot.com/2016/11/robert-e-lee-has-his-slaves-whipped-and.html

      And that’s without linking to Mark “Taxsanity” Curran’s writings on Lee.

  • C. Meyer Apr 25, 2017 @ 9:26

    Lee, since he was never in New Orleans.

    • Kevin Levin Apr 25, 2017 @ 9:28

      Lee will be last.

      • Sally HemingsKid Apr 25, 2017 @ 14:22

        Why do you think Lee will be last?

        • Kevin Levin Apr 25, 2017 @ 14:24

          Because it will likely attract the biggest crowd and involve most law enforcement to ensure a peaceful removal.

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