Last night the city of Memphis removed monuments to Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis. In Forrest’s words, they ‘kept the skeer’ on them and it finally paid off. In 2013 I wrote this piece on the controversy surrounding the Forrest monument for the Atlantic. Continue reading
This is a short tour of the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library and Museum by one of their librarians. In it she explains the various resources that are at the disposal of researchers and others interested in Davis and the Confederacy. And that’s not all.
After watching this video I think we can all breathe easier that the bulk of the papers of Jefferson Davis are located at Rice University.
[Uploaded to YouTube on July 10, 207]
This is a wonderful example illustrating the difference between genuine concern about the public display of Confederate iconography and using it as a political football. Richmond mayoral candidate, Joe Morrissey, recently made news for announcing that if he wins he would push for the removal of the Jefferson Davis monument on Monument Avenue. Continue reading
Update: Here is another sketch set during Davis’s flight from Richmond that depicts camp slaves on foot and as teamsters.
Recently I went through some old email correspondence related to my research on black Confederates. All the way back in 2011 Andy Hall emailed a link to two sketches that appeared in the Illustrated London Times from 1865. The first sketch depicts Jefferson Davis “signing acts of government” while on the run following the abandonment of Richmond in early April 1865. In the second sketch Davis “bids farewell to his escort two days before his capture.” Continue reading
Earlier today the New Orleans city council voted 6 to 1 to remove four Confederate monuments. The vote was preceded by a lengthy and heated public forum that you can see here. I decided early this morning to write up some thoughts assuming that the vote would go the way it did. You can read my essay at the Atlantic.
Regardless of your position, a good case can be made that this decision is the final act of our Civil War sesquicentennial.
St. Paul’s Episcopal in Richmond has announced that it will remove many of the objects that venerate the Confederacy, including specifically those items featuring the Confederate flag. Items that will be removed include six plaques. Plaques honoring Davis’s wife and daughter will be modified as will the church’s coat of arms. The church also plans to erect a memorial to those slaves that were members of the community. [I wrote about the public history side of this controversy back in early October.] Continue reading
Update: Thanks to those of you who pointed out my rookie mistake re: “the mountain top” reference in King’s speech. I guess it doesn’t really matter what speech of his they etch into that monument.
Over the summer, individuals and organizations protesting the removal of Confederate flags from public places gathered numerous times at Stone Mountain, Georgia in view of its relief monument to Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis. Protesters may think twice about doing so in the future since it was announced that a monument to Martin Luther King, Jr. and a museum exhibit about the service of United States Colored Troops will be funded with visitor entrance and parking fees. Continue reading
The debate at the University of Texas at Austin over the presence on campus of monuments to Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Albert Sidney Johnston is not a new one. In 1969 a group calling itself Afro-Americans for Black Liberation made a list of demands on the campus administration that included removing these statues. Jump to August 2015 and in the wake of the mass shootings in Charleston and the very public and emotional debate about the place of Confederate iconography, including monuments, in public places it should come as no surprise that action would be taken. Continue reading