This past Saturday I co-led a tour of Charlottesville’s Confederate monuments with Dr. Jalane Schmidt of UVA. We started at the slave auction marker on Courthouse Square before stopping at the Confederate soldier statue as well as the Lee and Jackson monuments. We had a nice crowd on-hand, including NBC29 News, which filmed the tour for a short segment. Continue reading
Update: Here is video of State Senator Hanger’s tribute to Stonewall Jackson in Richmond. Notice that he doesn’t even get to Jackson until the 3 minute mark. My have times changed.
You don’t have to go too far back in time in Virginia history to find a political culture that was perfectly aligned with the memorialization of the Confederacy. Monuments, street names, holidays, public school textbooks all taught that Confederate leaders and their cause should be celebrated and propped up as a set of ideals that all citizens should strive to emulate. Continue reading
This is the latest in an ongoing public conversation at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. about what to do with its stained glass windows depicting Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. I’ve made my through about half of the discussion and it is quite good. I especially enjoyed listening to Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, Canon Theologian at Washington National Cathedral, who has her finger on both Civil War memory and its religious implications.
Check out this earlier discussion that included John Coski.
This has to be one of the best discussions about the place of Confederate iconography in our public and private spaces that I have seen. This panel discussion took place at the National Cathedral, which recently removed Confederate battle flags from its stained glass windows. The question of whether the full windows depicting Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson will be removed has yet to be decided. That is the setting for this discussion. Continue reading
Just finished writing about this wonderful print published by the New York engraver John Chester Buttre. Many of you are no doubt familiar with Prayer in “Stonewall” Jackson’s Camp (1866). Buttre essentially stole it from an earlier sketch done by Adalbert Johann Volck.
Buttre made a number of changes, including adding Confederate Generals Richard S. Ewell and A.P. Hill. He made it a point, however, to keep Jackson’s camp slave, Jim Lewis, in the scene. I have to believe that Buttre intentionally placed Hill in this disinterested pose given his relationship with Jackson.
The chromiolithograph featured in the headline above was published in London in 1871 and was based on Conrad Wise Chapman’s painting The Fifty-Ninth Virginia Infantry–Wise’s Brigade (1867).
I am on the hunt for other wartime and postwar engravings, lithographs, etc. that include camp slaves. Thanks for your help.
Not much going on this week. I am finishing up my presentations for CWI, which kicks off this coming Friday.
Here is one of the sessions from a recent symposium on Reconstruction that took place at the Columbia Museum of Art in April. This panel discussion on the ongoing push to find a suitable historic site to interpret Reconstruction was moderated by Eric Foner and includes Greg Downs and Kate Masur, who are both working with the National Park Service on this project. It is well worth watching.
I want to send this one out to my fellow blogger in “Old Virginia,” who has found a not so clever way of making the point that American slavery wasn’t so bad. Yes, slavery apologists are alive and well. This is the same individual who maintains that Stonewall Jackson was the “black man’s friend.” 🙂
Commentary like this serves as a reminder of why the history of American slavery and race is so important for us to understand.
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
Update: Looks like Williams doesn’t like this post either. He seems to believe that what he has written has been distorted. That in and of itself is quite funny given the kinds of things he has written about me. You can read his book for yourself. Sigh. Finally, the timing of Williams’s own update suggests he was eagerly awaiting my response.
My friend from “Old Virginia” is once again disappointed with what I have written on this blog. In recent months he has expressed his displeasure more than once concerning a whole host of issues. A few days ago I offered a vague reference to a body of literature that includes Richard Williams’s book, Stonewall Jackson: The Black Man’s Friend. I referenced the subtitle of his book, but for some of the specific points made in the post I had, in addition to his book, a few other titles in mind.
Williams decided to write up a detailed response and I guess he expects me to respond. Well, I am not going to do that. Continue reading