GALVESTON

For a few minutes Friday, “Dignified Resignation” was covered by a white sheet.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

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(31) comments

Bailey Jones

"Glory to the Defeated. It has stood in front of the county courthouse since 1911, when it was donated to the county by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and Molly Macgill Rosenberg....."

The UDC was busy in those days. In 1913 they established the famous confederate monument, "Silent Sam", at the University of North Carolina. Here's an excerpt from the dedication speech, June 2, 1913:

"This beautiful memorial is unique in one aspect. I have participated at the unveiling of several Confederate monuments, and have intimate knowledge of a great many more, but this is the first and only one in which the living survivors have been distinctly mentioned and remembered, and in the distinguished presence I desire to thank that Daughters of the Confederacy, in the name of the living Confederate students, for their beautiful and timely thoughtfulness.

The present generation, I am persuaded, scarcely takes note of what the Confederate soldier meant to the welfare of the Anglo Saxon race during the four years immediately succeeding the war, when the facts are, that their courage and steadfastness saved the very life of the Anglo Saxon race in the South – When “the bottom rail was on top” all over the Southern states, and to-day, as a consequence the purest strain of the Anglo Saxon is to be found in the 13 Southern States – Praise God.

I trust I may be pardoned for one allusion, howbeit it is rather personal. One hundred yards from where we stand, less than ninety days perhaps after my return from Appomattox, I horse-whipped a negro wench until her skirts hung in shreds, because upon the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted and maligned a Southern lady, and then rushed for protection to these University buildings where was stationed a garrison of 100 Federal soldiers. I performed the pleasing duty in the immediate presence of the entire garrison..."

-- Julian Shakespeare Carr, North Carolina industrialist, white supremacist, Ku Klux Klan supporter, and lynching enthusiast.

https://hgreen.people.ua.edu/transcription-carr-speech.html

Kimberley Jones Yancy

Wow!

Carlos Ponce

Let's give the man depicted in the statue a name - how about Isaac.

Kimberley Jones Yancy

🙄

Jeff Patterson

No one has yet to explain to me EXACTLY what this accomplishes other than an example of a complete misunderstanding of history and the war between the states.

I’m not aware of anyone who’s been emotionally traumatized by walking by it. No emotional trauma caused to anyone by the last 80 years it’s been there so when you tear or down, who are you protecting again? I don’t support that OUR police racist and need to be reformed here in Galveston which by the way is what kicked off this movement of cancel culture. So who does this benefit? How does this change anything? Fast forward we are a country that stands united under one flag and we are all united in the disgust in what Derek Chauvin did. But that doesn’t make ALL police officers bad. Stop insinuating, implying, harassing and condemning ALL police officers for the crimes of what one very bad person did and rioting, protesting and destroying public property doesn’t in fact promote your cause, it only makes them look angry, irrational, hostile folks waging an emotional war over something that happened over 150 years ago. This is a pseudo event...

Bailey Jones

You write that you're not aware of anyone who's been emotionally traumatized by the statue. You also write that there are "angry, irrational, hostile folks waging an emotional war" over the statue. Which is it? It either upsets people or it doesn't.

I'm not particularly upset over this statue, as I've written elsewhere. But I have enough imagination to understand why others would prefer not to have a reminder of the days when black Americans were not accorded simple humanity, much less legal protection, sitting in a place of honor in front of the Galveston County Courthouse - where we all go expecting to receive impartial justice. And it's not that hard to draw a line between the systemic racism in today's policing and an opinion handed down at another courthouse in 1857 which declared that African Americans "had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit."

Surely it's time that black Americans have not only rights which the white man must respect, but opinions as well.

Jeff Patterson

I walk by this statue multiple times a week for YEARS and not once have I heard or seen anyone feeling emotionally traumatized by it. So tell me again, what does this accomplish? What is it’s purpose? Who does it benefit? And by the way, maybe you ought to consider demolishing the party of slavery, of Jim Crow, the KKK, the segregationist along with this statue too...and that would be DEMOCRATS! SMDH...seem to have forgotten their own history

Carlos Ponce

The statue didn't bother Isaac Fanuiel either until 2014:

"Fanuiel was born in Galveston, and grew up in Texas City, however, he said that it was not until last year [2014] that he realized that the statute in front of the courthouse was dedicated to Confederate soldiers." Jul 4, 2015

https://www.galvnews.com/news/article_3f0f4cc4-220b-11e5-9e13-0340371256c7.html

Isaac the Statue stood in Galveston for over hundred years with no one bothered by its presence.

Bailey Jones

The party of slavery, of Jim Crow, the KKK, the segregationist along with this statue too, was torn down and destroyed in the 1950s and 1960s. Desegregation began under Truman and was completed under Johnson.

Most Democrats saw the error of their ways and embraced racial equality. Those that didn't changed parties.

I appreciate that you don't have any objections to the statue. And I appreciate that you can't understand why anyone else should be bothered by it. Maybe it would be more understandable in another context. Should the Iraqis leave the monuments to Saddam? Should Germany leave buildings adorned with swastikas? Should the Russians leave the statues of Stalin? In China is ever free, should they leave the statues of Mao? Can you understand why Iraqis, Germans, Russians and Chinese might want to remove the symbols of their oppressors? If you can, then that's the answer to your question. If you can't - that's also the answer to your question.

Ray Taft

Bailey wrote: “Most Democrats saw the error of their ways and embraced racial equality. Those that didn't changed parties.”

That ain’t true. The Democratic Party is the party of slavery, Jim Crow, and racism. Congressional Republicans pushed desegregation through Congress, and then those Democrat presidents had to sign it.

Bailey’s statement is how Democrats try to explain away their racism. It ain’t us - it’s those other guys.

It doesn’t hold true because all the current racial problems are in Democrat strongholds. If it was true, then everything would be swell in those Democrat-run cities. But it ain’t.

Bailey Jones

Ray, your history is off. The support for the civil rights bill of 1964 was bipartisan. In the house, Ds - 153 to 93, Rs - 136 to 36. In the senate it was Ds - 46 to 21, Rs - 27 to 6.

The nays came mostly from the southern states - Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, from both parties. You may recognize this particular group of states. In the senate vote, Texas was the outlier in that the Democrat, Ralph Yarborough voted yay while the Republican John Tower voted nay.

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/88-1964/h182

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/88-1964/s409

I have no problem at all acknowledging the history of racism in this country, particularly in the southern Democratic party before the 1960s. I'm not sure why it's so difficult for you to do the same with your party. As for your other point, diversity exists where it is welcome, and that has always been in large cities. Diversity supports the parties that are willing to represent it, and that is currently the Democrats. One need only look at diversity among representatives in congress. Of the 105 women in the House, 90 are Democrats. Of the 54 African Americans in the House, 53 are Democrats. Of the 46 Latino members in the House, 37 are Democrats. Of the 17 Asian / Pacific Islanders in the House, 16 are Democrats. So if Democrats are the party of racism, they are doing an awful job keeping minorities out.

Roberta Reitz

Intelligent analysis

Carlos Ponce

Isaac the Statue is not going to come down off the pedestal and harm anyone. He stays up there with his broken sword, dismantled firearm,flag across his shoulder to remind us the South was defeated.

Ray Taft

What kicked off this “movement of cancel culture” was because of what happened in Democrat-run Minneapolis, not Galveston County.

A misunderstanding of history is that it was a war between the states. It was not a war between two countries. It was an American Civil War, North vs. South, where southern Democrat-states unlawfully tried to leave the union over the issue of slavery.

Ray Taft

The city of Galveston is run by Democrats and the county was run by Democrats for decades.

What were all those Democrat Mayors of Galveston and the Democrat County Judges thinking for all those years? Having a monument on government property to the forces that fought in the name of slavery, and lost to Republican President Lincoln’s Union forces, is offensive to many.

The Democrat Party has had decades to fulfill its many promises to black Americans, but it hasn’t delivered.

These statues on government property are the Democrats’ physical embodiment of racism, and it is time to talk honestly about that. Let’s stop trusting Democrats to do anything about it and all their other unfulfilled promises.

It’s long past time to stop trusting Democrats and to stop voting for Democrats.

Bailey Jones

I have to say, Ray, with both you and Gary M coming out for the removal of confederate statues I'm having to recalibrate my prejudices. And I thank you for the opportunity.

Holly McDonald

One of the things I have always admired about Galveston is how tolerant and accepting the community is of all people. It makes me sad to see this movement wiping that out and demanding everyone accept their view of reality which apparently doesn't include history.

Ted Gillis

My mother was conducting genealogy research on her family back in the 1970’s and early 80’s. She joined the UDC to get access to their data base (this was way before the internet and DNA family tree sites). The UDC loved my mother as she was a “true” daughter a of confederate veteran due to a skipped generation (or two). Her father (the veteran) married a young girl (my grandmother) after his first wife died and proceeded to have another family. My mother was the youngest child of this generation. My grandfather died in 1923 when my mother was a very young child. She and her siblings were raised by her mother who continued to receive Confederate Veterans Widows payment from the state until passing away herself in 1953.

My mother soon discovered after joining that the UDC was still full of old racist women (as several of her friends had warned). She finished her genealogy research, told them what she thought of them and never went back to any UDC meetings, but kept her membership plague just for spite (I guess I still have it somewhere).

Maybe the UDC has changed it’s mission and function these days, but the article that Bailey posted tells us a great deal about how the south viewed the races and racial equality back then.

Bailey Jones

My family is also eligible for UDC membership, as well as the DAR and DRT. My dad, coming from a small Texas town tightly controlled by whites only social clubs had no interest. Apparently I inherited that gene.

Online genealogy is fun. I was able to trace us back to a young woman who came over from England in the 1630s, then through her back to some minor English royalty, then through them back to Charlemagne, and through him back to Jesus Christ's love child transported by boat to France in the womb of Mary Madeleine in the months following the crucifixion. I try not to put on airs about it.[tongue]

Jeff Patterson

This group “ The Monument Project” is a nationally organized movement... and without regard to the history of what they’re tearing down. Yesterday they tore down a monument of Ulysses S Grant ! Really? The General that led the Union to defeat the Confederacy?

They’ve also all but slandered the name of Mrs. Rosenberg ... and I’m still asking what does this accomplish? It’s a memorial to a DEFEATED soldier but honors the hundreds of thousands that died in the “ War for States Rights“ because, and I keep saying it to correct the rhetoric...this was not a war about slavery, it was a war about politics.

Wendy Maceo-Melton

I believe the specific “state right” you are referring to was that one state’s right to allow her citizens to own, and do with what they please, their fellow human being.

You can claim it was about politics, states rights, and well, that really boils down to sustaining the industries of the south.

Now, what threat did the Union pose to the south?

Was it unreasonable tariffs on agriculture? Bathroom bills? Wearing a mask in public?

No. It was the means of the production that was threatened. Those means being reliant on state sanctioned forced labor and subjugation of humans by other humans.

I know, back in the day, it felt good to say the south fought for states rights, but that dog don’t hunt.

As far as I’m concerned, your statues and monuments recalling and glorifying a barbaric, brutal, evil history can topple.

Wendy Maceo-Melton

Also, this is Frank.

Melody Oelze

[thumbup]

Melody Oelze

[thumbup]

Victor Viser

I find it a bit disingenuous when some commenters say such things as:

"I walk by this statue multiple times a week for YEARS and not once have I heard or seen anyone feeling emotionally traumatized by it."

"I’m not aware of anyone who’s been emotionally traumatized by walking by it."

"...the Statue stood in Galveston for over hundred years with no one bothered by its presence."

To be sure, the scientific method employed by these commentators leaves much to be desired in terms of validity and reliability (the margin of error must be astronomical). At the same time, I should imagine that these were probably the same sort of statements made by people of certain position in the '40's, '50's, and early '60's when commenting on the equity of Colored-Only drinking fountains.

Viz., "What's all the danged ruckus about? Why, I've walked past those Colored-Only drinking fountains many times over the years and I've heard nary a murmur of complaint from anyone."

Carlos Ponce

I heard more than a murmur about the "colored only" fountains, Victor. As to the statue, on the numerous times I went to the Courthouse for jury duty beginning in 1977.... nothing. Like Isaac Fanuiel, no one really noticed nor paid attention. Just another old statue in Historic Galveston. Think about the numerous times you saw the HUGE statue on Broadway and 25th. Many have NO IDEA of what it commemorates. Yet they've seen it many times. Just another old statue in Historic Galveston.

Oh, on a Sept 6, 2011 GCDN, Heber Taylor had an editorial about the statue : A Plan To Save a Bit of History".

https://www.galvnews.com/opinion/editorials/article_aa7e89cc-02f4-5fa7-a810-5d875b3cffa5.html

The statue also appears on Apr 12, 2011 Heber Taylor Editorial "A Conversation about the Civil War"

https://www.galvnews.com/opinion/editorials/article_d7f9959e-fb54-52cf-9058-f5f1d8098ed9.html

"The discussion started when Sam Collins III an African-American businessman and civic leader decided to observe Confederate History Month. He went down the road to Santa Fe and bought a couple of Confederate flags. He put them up at his house Saturday along with a historic American flag and invited people to discuss the war its causes and its lingering effects.

People who rolled their eyes — and are rolling their eyes now — are missing the point."

On October 30, 2000 we read in the paper "SOS [Save Outdoor Sculpture] will examine sculpture. No link available. SOS was going to "assess the condition of the Confederate Statue in front of the County Courthouse.

October 27, 1992 GDN had a page 1 article about the dedication of a Texas Historical Commission plaque for a Confederate fortification that stood at Virginia Point (where the Causeway meets the Mainland). Mary Faye Barnes allowed the UDC to sing "Dixie" but told them it was unwise to salute the Confederate flag. UDC then would not participate in the ceremony. She spoke of the courthouse statue as well fearing someone would try to remove it.

On May 22, 1986 there was an article questioning why the fountain surrounding the statue was not working. The article mentions people reading the statue plaque but were more concerned with why the fountain was not working. In March 1967 someone ruined the fountains pumps by pouring detergent in it. The theft of 20 boxes of detergent from Speedy Washateria 4617 Ave J was tied in with the suds.

Mike Box

Lots of interesting comments about Republicans and Democrats. Correct me if I'm wrong folks, but if I remember my history correctly the south became solidly Democratic because Lincoln, a Republican, ended slavery and Republicans ran Reconstruction after the war. A hundred years later President Johnson and the Democrats passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the south switched and became solidly Republican again. Seems like we just throw our votes to whichever side is the most pro-white? That doesn't sound like much progress in a hundred years.............

Carlos Ponce

"1964 and the south switched and became solidly Republican again" ... No. Texas did not elect a Republican Governor until 1979 (Clements) but Galveston County was still Democrat. You had to go back to 1874 to find another Texas Republican governor (Davis). A solidly Republican Galveston County was not evident until this century.

Mike Box

Ok so it took a few years.....

Carlos Ponce

Try decades.

Mike Box

I moved to Galveston due to the charm and the History of the island. Why can’t this be put on a ballot this coming November and let the property owners decide? Why allow a select few to make this decision? Aren’t we in a democracy?

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