For more than 80 years, the main entrance of the University of Texas campus was a sublime display of art, a utopia revered throughout the world. Surrounding the lawn, where nerds play ultimate frisbee and young lovers engage in PDA, were six colossal sculptures of influential southern statesmen.

One could learn from reading the pink granite pedestals that Robert E. Lee wasn’t only a Confederate General, but also superintendent of West Point and president of Washington College (renamed “Washington & Lee” in his honor). There was Albert Sidney Johnston, who served as a general for three countries: Republic of Texas, Confederate States, United States. And let’s not forget Woodrow Wilson, who was president of Princeton University and governor of New Jersey, before becoming the only commander-in-chief to have a PhD.

But now the lawn is bleak, empty and desolate, with nothing left other than vacant pedestals to remind us that “sensitivity” can override our basic academic rights.

I am proudly the direct descendant of a Confederate soldier. As Texans, we should not be ashamed of our heritage.

The Constitution of the Confederate States mentions slavery three times: The first was to prohibit the importation of slaves (This had been U.S. law since 1808.) The “Peculiar Institution” was, sadly, still permitted among those already living in the United States, as it was in other agrarian societies.

But relocating artifacts to storage units will not change our history. It will, instead, reopen wounds of the past.

The Littlefield Memorial is not a tribute to slavery: It is about the transformation into an industrialized civilization that no longer required forced, unpaid labor to drive our economy. It shows us the transition from the antebellum “Old South” to the post-reconstruction “New South.”

This memorial is unique: It is both a Confederate and World War I exhibit. George W. Littlefield, the regent who funded the project, was a major in the Confederate Army. When the memorial was commissioned in 1919, the UT community wanted to also honor the Longhorns who died fighting in the World War.

Their names are listed on a plaque behind the fountain, which is of course named after Mr. Littlefield. That huge red Victorian mansion on campus was his house; the Littlefield dormitory is named after his wife, Alice.

No words can convey the importance of this man to our university. Without him, we would certainly not be the world-renowned institution we are today. It is truly shameful that only one of the six statues he paid for has been reinstalled on campus.

I am calling upon Texans everywhere to demand that President Gregory Fenves do the same with the remaining five.

Hopefully, you all get a chance to check out the sculpture of Gov. James Hogg on the east side of the tower. Please do not fat-shame him. Seriously, pilates and CrossFit were not available in the 1890s.

Just observe the remarkable attention to detail; think of the talent required to produce such a spectacular work of art.

Now, imagine the south entrance of campus restored to its original elegance, as it was from 1933 until 2015-2017. This dream can become reality — but only if you send an email to president@utexas.edu, asking the university to reinstall the statues of the Littlefield Memorial at their original location. That’s where they belong.

Andrew England is a history major at the University of Texas at Austin.

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(77) comments

Gary Scoggin

Mr. England is correct in saying “Removing Confederate statues won’t change history.” But their removal can change how we view that history. Like Mr. England, I

I, too, am a descendant of a Confederate soldier. My son is even named after him.

But as much as we want to romanticize it, the Confederacy was not a noble cause. And the statues commemorating its heroes were not erected for noble reasons. The Confederacy was about the right of one human to own another and most statues were erected decades after the Civil War as a demonstration that the same racism was still alive and well.

The statues need to go. If they remain they should be accompanied by explanatory plaques that strip them of all their faux-nobility.

Wayne Holt

"The Confederacy was about the right of one human to own another..."

If you believe the withdrawal from the union of the states that became the Confederacy was only about the right to own another human being, will all due respect I would say you have a very limited understanding of the dynamics of that schism. Certainly the institution of slavery was part of it, but the economic and political domination of the agrarian south by the mercantile North was the predominating factor. After all, Lincoln, the great liberator himself, made it clear in the Lincoln-Douglas debates that his position was not that different from many southern slave owners.

And since you raised a very reasonable abhorrence to owning another human being, I wonder what you would say about a political leader like Lincoln who was willing to permit the carnage of the Civil War because some states of a voluntary federation wished to withdraw from it? There was absolutely nothing in our founding documents that sanctified the forced retention of the individual, sovereign states of the union. Fort Sumter was a Union military garrison in a state that had seceded from its voluntary association with that union. If explanatory plaques are in order, I suggest we start with one at the Lincoln Memorial explaining how he unlawfully forced the states that became the Confederacy to go to war with the North because they wished to leave a union that was economically crippling them.

Emile Pope

The Civil War was fought over slavery. That was the reason stated by every state that seceded. And long winded blathering won't change that. Ever...

Carlos Ponce

"The Civil War was fought over slavery." Slavery was in place before this country fought the Revolutionary War. It was in place Four score and five years (85 years) before the Civil War began. If Slavery was the only reason the Civil War would have been fought decades before. Slavery was an important factor but not the sole reason. In its declaration of secession Texas also named the Federal Government's failure to protect Texans from Mexican banditos.

Christopher Smith

Carlos, you can read the papers yourself here: https://www.battlefields.org/learn/primary-sources/declaration-causes-seceding-states

The declarations of secession all clearly state what the Civil War was about.

Carlos Ponce

I prefer

https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ref/abouttx/secession/2feb1861.html

Which has the same. Slavery was an issue but not the only one for Texas to secede. "The Federal Government, while but partially under the control of these our unnatural and sectional enemies, has for years almost entirely failed to protect the lives and property of the people of Texas against the Indian savages on our border, and more recently against the murderous forays of banditti from the neighboring territory of Mexico; and when our State government has expended large amounts for such purpose, the Federal Government has refused reimbursement therefor, thus rendering our condition more insecure and harrassing than it was during the existence of the Republic of Texas."

Carlos Ponce

Keep the statues. If you remove or destroy them you are no better than ISIS who did precisely that in the Middle East.

Gary Scoggin

“No better than ISIS”. That’s a pretty hot take, Carlos, even for you. And unworthy of further response.

Carlos Ponce

ISIS destroyed any historical artifacts, statues included. There are many who would do the same in this country with Confederate artifacts - and have done so.

Carlos Ponce

The biggest monument to slavery is an island and city named after a man who imported slaves into North America. The man was Bernardo de Gálvez. The island and city named after this slave importer is GALVESTON. The Orwellian task of rewriting history is incomplete if you do not remove all things related to slavery and that includes the names of cities named after slave owners (Washington, Houston, etc) and slave importers (Galveston).

Carlos Ponce

The statues honor men who were soldiers, not slavery. Preserve history or you are liable to repeat mistakes made by our forebears.

In a Letter to the Editor dated August 13, 2015, Judy Bernard writes, "In Galveston, the confederate monument 'Dignified Resignation' is just that: it admits to the confederacy being defeated as is symbolized by the broken sword. The flag over the statue’s shoulder is Naval Jack referencing the end of the confederate navy. A cannon lies dismantled. All these are symbols of resignation while the sailor, with dignity, looks outward to a new beginning."

https://www.galvnews.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/article_25dc15ee-4163-11e5-a9ae-d77bb0802140.html

In another Letter to the editor dated July 22, 2015, Gerhard Meinecke writes, "The debate should not be about the statue, but the inscription on its plaque — a few of its words. ' … there has never been an armed force which in purity of motives, intensity of courage and heroism has equaled the army and navy of the Confederate States of America.' ”

To which I responded, "Gerhard, if the words 'purity of motives' troubles you then do some research. Go to the time of the statue's unveiling. From the Galveston Daily News June 4, 1912 Page 12 "Imposing Ceremony Marks Unveiling"

Address by Charles B. Macglll, nephew of Gen. J. E. B. Stuart: "Because it

was their duty to themselves, their country and their God to defend their homes against the invasion of those who would usurp that most sacred safeguard of personal liberty, the inherent and cherished constitutional right of a free people to govern themselves, the confederates sacrificed all save honor. For four long years, with an army numbering at the most not 900.000 men.poorly armed and equipped, without resources and without reserve forces, they held in check, and in most battles defeated the best armed, equipped and organized army on earth, numbering: three million men or more, with resources and reserve forces unlimited. From first Mananas to Appomattox were fought the bravest and bloodiest battles the world has known."

'Purity of motives' meant the defense of their homes, their farms, their cities, their states. Gerhard, bottom line is the statue honors the MEN who fought, not those responsible for secession. These men, through an act of Congress have been declared American Veterans. The statue honors them."

https://www.galvnews.com/opinion/guest_columns/article_80b8fd0a-2ffd-11e5-8454-bf9337f463db.html

Gary Scoggin

If the purpose of the statues is to prevent us from making the mistakes of our forebears then they should be accurately labeled as to their role in defending chattel slavery. And why aren’t there statues out there honoring slaves and those that fought for abolition? Why isn’t there a statue of Sherman in Atlanta?

Carlos Ponce

"Why isn’t there a statue of Sherman in Atlanta?" Bobby Sherman was born in Santa Monica, California. Sure he had followers in Atlanta but they never chose to erect a statue in his honor.[cool]

Carlos Ponce

"The Confederacy was about the right of one human to own another and most statues were erected decades after the Civil War as a demonstration that the same racism was still alive and well."

Were they erected because of racism or to honor their forebears? Do you ever see a statue with the inscription: "This statue erected because they fought to preserve slavery" ? No. The inscriptions honor the men, not slavery. They fought to defend their homes, families and STATES. Note that men on both sides were identified by a state or region regiment designation like the "Army of the Potomac" and "The Army of Northern Virginia". The "1st Louisiana Native Guard" was composed of freed Black men who fought for the South. The 1st, 4th and 5th Texas infantry regiments were collectively known as "The Texas Brigade" or "Hood's Brigade". "Terry's Texas Rangers" was composed of Texas Rangers and a part of the 8th Texas Cavalry known for their riding skills. They fought with the Army of Tennessee.

Emile Pope

False.

Carlos Ponce

What's "false', Emile? Your terse reply indicates you are wrong.

Emile Pope

No Black people willingly fought for the confederacy...

Carlos Ponce

"No Black people willingly fought for the confederacy..." That comes as a big surprise to members of the 1st Louisiana Native Guard of the CSA. 1,500 free blacks signed up at the Catholic Institute on April 22, 1861 composed of men from wealthy prominent free-black families, clerks, artisans, and skilled laborers. Among their number was Colonel Felix Labatut, a Louisiana state senator, soldier, and signer of Louisiana's declaration of secession. After the occupation of New Orleans by Union troops the Guard disbanded. Some returned home, some joined the Union Army.

Emile Pope

No Black people willingly fought for the confederacy...

Carlos Ponce

Emile posted, "Apparently some people choose to be willfully ignorant." Your last post in this thread proves it.

Comment deleted.
Carlos Ponce

"No one is trying to change history...." If you remove the statues, yes, you are. Already we see that Emile believes the statues were erected to promote "racism, bigotry, and segregation" - NOW THAT is trying to change history. The statues in question were erected to honor the men not to promote slavery, racism, bigotry, segregation. There are over 100 Southern gentlemen buried in Galveston who fought for the South.

https://en.geneanet.org/library/doc/5589426/a-list-of-confederate-soldiers-buried-in-galveston-texas-compiled-principally-before-1900

Will Emile dig them up, throw their remains into the ocean and crumble their headstones with references to the CSA? Is Emile afraid the statue in front of the old County Courthouse will come down off his pedestal and go after him? Leave them alone. They will not harm you.

Paul Hyatt

Rewriting history is what the liberal left is trying to do. None of the statues that all of sudden have become hate figures had anything to do with slavery as they were honoring men of valor who fought hard for what they believed in. Were they wrong in their beliefs? IMO yes they were wrong on many points, but destroying them and not telling the entire story is ludicrous at best as that will leave many without the knowledge of our past and without that knowledge this nation is doomed to repeat that folly.... Of course this is just my opinion just like it was the writers opinion and so far we still have the right to not only have our own opinion, but we still have the right to voice it even though there are many who wish to silence our voice....

Samuel Collins III

"As Texans, we should not be ashamed of our heritage."

Heritage should not be confused with history...heritage exaggerates and omits, candidly invents and frankly forgets and thrives on ignorance and error...David Lowenthal.

Gary Scoggin

Exactly, Sam. There are many things in our heritage we should be ashamed of. And many things we should be proud of. Those that still choose to honor defenders of slavery obviously don’t see the difference.

Dan Freeman

Mr. Andrew England argues the case for the restoration of six monuments to the Littlefield Fountain at the entrance to the University of Texas. The University removed the statue of Jefferson Davis in 2015 and in 2017 the statues of Robert E. Lee, Albert Sydney Johnson, and John H. Reagan were removed. All had sworn to “…support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion….” All of these men betrayed their oath when they resigned from office to fight for the Confederacy.

The Civil War began because the Southern States feared the loss of property that would occur with emancipation. The North responded to protect the Union “…dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” The result was “…that government of the people, by the people, for the people,” did not perish from the earth.

“The past is never dead, it is not even past.” The removal the statues remains only one of many necessary acts of atonement for the horror of enslaving a people.

Bailey Jones

"The removal the statues remains only one of many necessary acts of atonement for the horror of enslaving a people." [thumbup]

Carlos Ponce

Bailey wants to remove the statues but retain the names of cities named for slave traders (Galveston) and slave owners (Houston, Washington). That's telling 'em, Bailey![rolleyes]

Bailey Jones

Wow - where to start? I guess with the title, "Removing Confederate statues won’t change history". Duh. Nothing can change history - it's indelibly etched in the past. I often see confederate statutes being defended as though they are vital for the transmission of history across the generations. Statues aren't erected to teach history (that's what Ken Burns is for). Statues are erected to HONOR individuals and events. In this case, to honor the Confederate dead from the Civil War. Littlefield himself was a Confederate army officer. And these statues commemorate his allegiance to those dead, and that cause.

Removing statues isn't a way to change history, it's a way to demonstrate that we have changed allegiances. Confederates are no longer our heroes and we no longer wish to honor their sacrifices.

(One wonders if any of these "defenders of history" were cheering when the statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled in Baghdad in 2003. Perhaps our forces there should have protected the statue so that Iraqis wouldn't forget the tyrant who was oppressing them.)

Defenders of Lee often state something to the effect that these statues aren't about slavery because Lee "wasn’t only a Confederate General, but also superintendent of West Point and president of Washington College", to which I would add, a hero of the Mexican War. And yet these Jim Crow era statues always depict him in his Confederate gray, never the uniform of the Mexican campaign with it's dress blues and golden epaulettes (you should google it, it's quite striking), and never the college president or superintendent. Why do you suppose that is?

This letter carries the tone of marginalizing slavery as a reason for the civil war. As others here have stated, the south hated the north for a lot of reasons. One could say that there was more to the south than cotton,and more to cotton than slavery - that's true, but just barely. I'll simply refer you to Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens' Cornerstone Speech, and Texas's own Declaration of Causes.

The author refers to the “Peculiar Institution”, as though we were talking about not being able to buy beer before noon on Sundays, not the most egregious and degrading state of subjugation that one human can inflict upon another - made all the more egregious and degrading when it's done by people who claim to believe that all men are created equal.

Finally, there's the requisite appeal to heritage and family. Yes, my ancestor - indeed, my namesake - Dr. Bailey Washington Birdsong, served and died in the Confederate army. I don't know if he believed, like Stephens, that "the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system." Or that "African slavery as it exists amongst us – the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization... was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution."

I don't know whether he was present at the Texas Secession Convention when the Declaration of Causes was written - "That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding States."

I don't know if he knew George W. Littlefield. It's entirely possible as they both lived in Panola County. I don't even know if he ever owned another human being. I do know that he died a stupid and useless death in a traitorous rebellion against the nation to which I hold allegiance. It's not something that I feel any need to be proud of, or ashamed of. It's simply my history. And I honor him as my progenitor every time I say or sign my name. But the cause he died for? No - there is no honor there. And no need for statues to commemorate those dead, except on their graves.

Carlos Ponce

So Bailey Jones is against slavery and will eliminate any references to those who promoted it. Will Bailey change an island and city named in honor of a man wjho brought slaves to the Gulf Coast? Will he work to change Galveston to Jonestown? Stay Tuned! In the meantime, Don't drink the Kool-aid!

Gary Scoggin

You know, Carlos, you should have read Bailey’s post before you commented on it. I found it quite poignant - as is he norm for what he has to say.

Bailey Jones

Carlos has relatively few arrows in his quiver. This is his standard Confederate statue response. Asked and answered months ago - but maybe he forgets.

Bailey Jones

And thanks.

Carlos Ponce

I did. No doubt Gary Scoggin agrees with his post.

Gary Scoggin

You are right, Carlos. I agree. Every. Single. Word.

Carlos Ponce

"Carlos has relatively few arrows in his quiver." Locked and loaded, Bailey. When one is a terrific shot, few arrows are needed. Your quiver must be overloaded in case you miss, and miss, and miss.... That's common among those who cannot shoot straight.[cool]

Emile Pope

[thumbup]

Carlos Ponce

"statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled in Baghdad in 2003" Did the citizens of Baghdad topple the statue? Or any Iraquis? No. That was done by the US Marines. "Marines backed an armored recovery vehicle up to the monument and attached a chain to the statue." (CNN) Afterward, a US Marine draped an American flag over the statue's head - an act not viewed favorably by the locals who fired shots at the Marines. The topping of that statue was an act of war, similar to placing an American flag upon Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, a Japanese Island.

Carlos Ponce

"statues always depict him in his Confederate gray" Not really. If the statue is made of bronze as the one in Charlottesville, it's a weathered GREEN. It's as gray as an old copper one cent piece or the Statue of Liberty. When new it was BRONZE in color, not gray.

Gary Scoggin

Another silly obfuscation, Carlos. It shows the weakness of your point.

Bailey Jones

I think Carlos is making a joke. As a history teacher I'm sure he immediately recognized Pompeo Coppini's statue as identical to the many photos and paintings of Lee in his Confederate general's uniform, hat in one hand with the other on the hilt of his sword. It's the most common depiction of Lee, one every 1919 adherent of the revisionist "Lost Cause" narrative would understand.

(From wikipedia - "The Lost Cause of the Confederacy, or simply the Lost Cause, is an American pseudo-historical, negationist ideology that holds that the cause of the Confederacy during the American Civil War was a just and heroic one. The ideology endorses the supposed virtues of the antebellum South, viewing the war as a struggle primarily to save what they view as the beneficent and ethical Southern way of life, or "states' rights" in the face of overwhelming "Northern aggression". At the same time, the Lost Cause minimizes or denies outright the central role of slavery in the buildup to and outbreak of the war."

Modern historians (and anyone who can read contemporaneous documents) agree that the lost cause narrative is as bogus and contrived as the old Confederacy section at Six Flags Over Texas.

Carlos Ponce

If the statue is made of bronze as the one in Charlottesville, it's a weathered GREEN. That's a FACT.

Bailey Jones

I take it back - he's not joking. I guess ol' General Lee must be from Mars - why else would he be depicted with green skin? Or perhaps he's a robot - since he appears to be made of metal.

(I weep for our educational system.)

Carlos Ponce

Men are from Mars, women from Venus. So how does that explain Lady Liberty's green patina?[unsure]

Charles Douglas

Lord here we go again, PANDERING for the Black vote by faking a concern about slavery! President Washington owned slaves, and I have not heard anyone talking about pulling down his statues, burning his home or changing the name of all the cities or areas named after him! Old Senator Bird was a leader in the KKK, and he was a bunch of DEMOCRATS' role model and mentor! Now The Left pretends to be so hurt that the civil war happened! Lolo. Out of sight!!!! Senator Thurmond voted against many civil right legislations and he was a political giant to the DEMS. I never in my life crossed the path of a statue, or a dead man that I thought could hurt me. All this other stuff is foolishness gone crazy! Changing the names of schools which have been around for almost eighty years to the tune of one point three million dollars because the names offended a few groups of people. I grew up in the sixties when walking through back doors were common, along with those marked "colored." I'm proud to say I risked it all to rebel against those Jim Crow traditions to get them changed. Times are better now, so why are we trying to destroy things which cannot hurt anybody? I along with others LIVED what many of you have learned out if a book! Have to much money and time on your hands? Do like I do, give to the missionaries working in Kenya, Guatemala and Honduras! Leave the dead in peace! Everything will be reconciled by God anyway! The SLAVES don't know yall are destroying stuff here and neither does Robert E Lee and that bunch! So what are we proving here. We trying extract payback from the dead? Lolo.

Gary Scoggin

It’s not about the past, it’s what we teach to the future. I suppose we could leave them up so future generations could see us for the simple-minded, slave era worshiping people we appear to be. That would be educational.

Raymond Lewis

Good suggestion Mr. Scoggin. A few commentors can't find enough cut-and-paste articles fast enough to mask their thunderous (albeit willing) self inflicted ignorance in this area.

David Hardee

Your article is worthy of respect but this comment diminishes respect for it and you.

David Hardee

Gary Scroggins my comment was meant for your last posting. I think the article by Mr. England is point on to the issue of Statues, Symbolism and History.

Gary Scoggin

Mr. Hrardees. Acknowedged. I am sorry to lose your respect here but it's a tough issue. I think my feelings are clear. In the early 70's, my High School - Tascosa in Amarillo - had all the Confederate stuff for its mascot, fight song, etc. Due to some complaints, the school board forced the change. As a seventeen year old, I thought that the world was coming to an end. I and many others were outraged.

Fast forward a few years to college and I had developed a friendship with a black classmate from high school. From him I learned how harmful the Confederate imagery was to him and my other black classmates. The more i learned about this imagery and the reasons it survived, the more I realized the harm it expresses. The statues perpetuate this. Remember that most of these statues were not contemporary monuments to fallen heroes; They were built decades later as reinforcement of Jim Crow.

As a society have we moved past the need to honor the goals of this era, ther true cause of the bloodiest war in American history? Obviously not all of us. So if we keep the statures for "educational reasons" let's make sure we teach the real lessons behind them and not all of this noble cause, honor our forefathers baloney.

David Hardee

Mr. Scroggins – Your response certainly reveals a emotional perspective on the offensiveness issue. Consider this as a broader perspective on then, now and a highly possible future should we begin eradicating Icons. History of the USA is education on the Native American, Pilgrims, and Colonies into the USA and on to the present day which eventually becomes history. You and I may not get a STATUE but do we want Martin Luther King, Lincoln and Jesus eradicated from knowledge when a subset of society declares them offensive?

Carlos Ponce

Amarillo Tascosa still has Rebels as their mascot now displayed as "The Rebel Kid" clad in a red and black outfit with tall hat, a mustache and a double row of buttons on the front of his shirt. Hmmm... His outfit looks similar to "General Reb's" outfit found in the 1970 yearbook - except for the color.

Gary Scoggin

Carlos. I know the mascot. I was there when they created it. It’s a rebel in a rebelliousness since and his dress is Western, not Southern. A friend of mine at the time was the first restyled Rebel Kid. Dixie is no longer the fight song and they no user use the rebel flag. These changes were made in 1974. Do you have a point or are you just showing off your internet prowess?

Carlos Ponce

"his dress is Western, not Southern" - The outfits look identical except for the color.

Carlos Ponce

Addendum: The 1970 General Reb outfit is identical in style but not color to the 2019 Rebel Kid outfit. Maybe they went retro since you left. Found your picture taken with Mary Lou Herrick: "In a run-off election for senior class favorites, Mary Lou Herrick and Gary Scoggin were selected. Both Miss Herrick and Scoggin are members of Young life, Interact and Wrestling Spirits. Scoggin is the treasurer of Interact and has played varsity football for Tacosa for two years. He has also been a member of the National Honor Society. He was runner-up for favorite his junior year." WAY TO GO, GARY! CONGRATULATIONS! (By the way, nice plaid pants....)

Gary Scoggin

Thanks. They were really wide bell bottoms w/ cuffs. Quite fashionable for the day. And I still hear from Mary Lou on Facebook, btw.

Paul Douglas

"But relocating artifacts to storage units will not change our history. It will, instead, reopen wounds of the past.".......As if descendents of slaves and union soldiers dont have wounds open now by seeing confederate statues.Its illogical to think that seeing your former descendents enemy standing in triump would not create open wounds. I have no ill will torwards confederate soldiers and their descendants as with most soldiers they follow orders even if it goes against their view points. But the reality is the war was about slavery. To use the example of blacks joining the confederate army is no different then jews who supported Hitler. There will always be a minority that makes different moves in hope of a better outcome. The reality is this, confederste supporters were quiet when the kkk and nazis associated the confederacy with their cause. That was the time to say you guys have this mistaken. But people stayed quiet. Moving artifacts wont change history but people dont want to see the symbollism. Of suffering looking at them.

So for descendents of confederates embrace your history but dont think others should have to.

Carlos Ponce

If descendants of slaves harbor no ill feelings about living in a city named after the person who brought slavery to the Gulf Coast - Galveston or living in a city named after a slave owner - Houston or living in a country whose capital is named after a slave owner- Washington, do you really think that a statue will offend them?

"blacks joining the confederate army" Why you ask? To defend their homes their cities, their state. And you have to remember, there were a few Blacks who owned slaves in this country. In New Orleans over 3,000 free Negroes owned slaves. In Charleston, South Carolina in 1860 125 free Negroes owned slaves; six of them owning 10 or more. Some of these were free men who bought their families. A man owning his wife would not sit well in today's world.

https://americancivilwar.com/authors/black_slaveowners.htm

Charles Douglas

NOW see there Mr. PONCE! You said something that the Left wish you had forgotten when ýou mentioned Washinton DC, AND the State of Washington named after a slave owner! Houston, named after a slave owner, Galveston named after a slave owner! Now, why is the LEFT not changing these names? Why are they not marching and singing in the streets? Say what? I DID NOT HERE YOU...what? L olololo! Talk about double speak! Where are those name changes? I know, I will ask Mr. JONES and Gary, they will be honest enough to answer! Help me out Gary, .....Mr. JONES, ....help me understand this this injustice that's being perpetuated in this country. Double Standards!! What about old Thomas Jefferson, he had children by his SLAVES, because one of his descendents spoke at my high school graduation! Now don't tell me that nothing is name after Thomas Jefferson in this country!!Say, isn't he one of the Presidents on Mt. RUSHMORE? When are we going to blow his face off that mountain Mr. JONES? GARY, help me out here. We dont want future generations to look up at that mountain and see a RACIST WHO OWNED STAVES AND RAPED THEM, do we? Anybody? Where Ms. Flinn, I want to here from here on this one. ( I like Ms. FLINN ).

Charles Douglas

More on the hipocracy of the Constitution destroying Left:

Thomas Jefferson owned over 600 African-American slaves throughout his adult life. Jefferson freed two slaves while he lived, and seven more after his death. Ops.. there it Is!!!!!!!! Lets get that dynamite ready to go, we will need truck loads of It! One more thing and I expect support! I want to see that BADDDDD MANNNN Head on that mountain! Lolololo.

Wikipedia › wiki › Thomas_Jeffers...

Thomas Jefferson and slavery - Wikipedia

Bailey Jones

Charles - you raise a false equivalency. Jefferson (and Washington, and all the other slave owning racist founding fathers) created this great country. Lee (and Davis and all the other slave owning racist Confederates) tried to destroy it. The former were honorable men subject to the erroneous morality of the era in which they lived, the latter were traitors. Unlike slavery, we haven't evolved our opinion on treason. It was treason then, it's still treason now.

Carlos Ponce

"racist Confederates" - For the record, the 1860 US Census found only a small number of Southerners owned slaves - only 4.9%. And some of these slave owners were Black.

"tried to destroy it" The majority of those who fought for the Confederacy wanted to protect and defend their families, their homes, their cities, their STATES. Fighting regiments (on both sides) represented states or region of a state.

Were they "traitors"? Remember the name of the country, United STATES of America. They were foremost citizens of their individual STATES. At the time the correct verb usage was "The United States ARE". Now, post Civil War we say "The Unites States IS", indicating a change from statism to nationalism. In 1861, if a man did not fight for his STATE, he was considered a traitor.

Bailey is looking at this from a 20th and 21st Century perspective. Understandable. But if you examine the history of this country prior to the Civil War you would see the 18th and 19th Century perspective. The Constitution of the United States came into being in 1787, ELEVEN years after the founding and Declaration of Independence. Prior to the Constitution we had the Articles of CONFEDERATION which united a loose knit group of states for the common defense, regulate relations with foreign powers. The Constitution united these States with more cohesive bond but with limited clearly defined authority and purpose. But each state still maintained their own laws, governance until the 14th Amendment was ratified. Even after that, the 10th Amendment states that powers not endowed to the national government are reserved to the states and/or people.

Bailey Jones

The 1860 Census counted a total of 31,443,321 people, of which 3,953,760 were slaves. So slaves accounted for 12.6 percent of the national population. Your 4.9% figure is misleading since most northerners did not own slaves, as did few women or children. A better measure of the participation of society in slavery is to look at households. In slave holding states 24.9 percent of households owned slaves. In Mississippi and South Carolina the numbers are 49% and 46%, respectively. And of course, you need not own a slave to participate in slavery. Many smaller farmers and corporations rented slaves from their owners.

As for whether or not it was treason - of course it was. That's why confederates were stripped of their citizenship, forbidden to vote or hold office. That's why Jefferson Davis was charged with treason and imprisoned. He was later freed as part of the general pardon for all confederate traitors issued by President Johnson in 1868 (but specifically excluded from the 1872 and 1876 amnesty acts that restored full citizenship.)

And why would anyone believe that it wasn't considered to be treason? Go to your favorite search engine and enter "Obama treason". I get 6 million hits. Try "Clinton treason" - I get 5 million hits. (Don't try "Trump treason" - it will break your heart.) But I'm supposed to believe that the perpetrators of the bloodiest war in American history (culminating in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln) were the beneficiaries of "the better angels of our nature"? I think it's you who are seeing the past through 20th century colored glasses.

You did me a great service a while back when you recommended the newspaper archive service through the Rosenberg Library. Since I know you have it, go to the archives and enter "Davis treason" as search terms for the years 1860-1865. I got 31,499 results. Browse through a few of them.

In particular, you can find copies of the treason indictment against Jefferson Davis in every major newspaper. And you can imagine the vitriol of the letters to the editor. There's an easier to access copy of the indictment here for those without access- https://www.nytimes.com/1865/05/27/archives/indictment-of-davis-the-archtraitor-to-be-tried-for-treason.html

Emile Pope

They were traitors. Should have been tried, prosecuted and had all of their land and property confiscated...

Carlos Ponce

They have been pardoned, Emile and declared American Veterans by Congress. Are you going to dig up the remains of over 100 buried on Galveston Island to try and convict them?

Carlos Ponce

The definition of treason was left up to the individual armies, regiments and therefore the STATES that provided them Again your view is not from a historical perspective but using modern definitions. The states which commissioned the officers, enlisted the soldiers would not have found their actions treasonous.

Carlos Ponce

"That's why Jefferson Davis was charged with treason and imprisoned."

Charged? Yes. Convicted of treason? No. His imprisonment from May 22, 1865 to May 13, 1867 was to await trial. A bond of $100,000 was then posted and he was released. Abolitionist Horace Greely posted the bond. While "imprisoned" at Fort Monroe he was transferred from a small room (casement) to the more spacious officer's quarters at Fort Monroe.

February 15, 1869 - U.S. Attorney enters "nolle prosequi" into the record for United States v. Jefferson Davis, thus ending the case.

"nolle prosequi" - Latin, meaning "to be unwilling to pursue".

Charles Douglas

I knew I could count on you Mr. JONES. I follow you on this board because you are very measured in what you post. NOW, in full disclosure I don't agree with all you post like this explanation for Old Slave owning Thomas Jefferson! I don't know how you, as a Democrat can defend him. The man OWNED OVER 600 slaves Mr. JONES!! To make matters worse he raped many of the females and had children by them. No doubt he was increasing that 600 total number of slaves he was holding. Think about this and stop THINKING about how to dismiss the abomination of it all! Now his face is on Mount Rushmore where some on this forum proudly says " We should protect future generations from thinking we supported the institution of slavery!" Those who said it knows who they are! See this is what I have been saying about the Left... right along, you say one thing in the light, and do another in the dark! Now, allow me to say this, If JEB Stuart owned slaves and he was no good because of what he done to those AFRICAN-AMERICANS, then Thomas Jefferson, who owned AFRICAN-AMERICAN SLAVES is just as bad and immoral as JEB! If you want to tear down Jeb's legacy, then tear down Jefferson's legacy too! They both owned, beat, raped, and profited off of slaves! Why can't you guys admit that? Profession and the way a person made his living means NOTHING!!!!! If both of them committed MURDER, would they be different? No sir. I think the point has been made. The left needs to march, scream, throw stuff, plot, do whatever is needed, to change the name of The state of Washington, Washington DC, HOUSTON, Galveston, because those names are honoring lowdown individuals who had the audacity to OWN African-American slaves, and it was not right! How am I going to the beach in Galveston NOW? Lololo. Lastly, what are we going to do about Mount Rushmore? Let me end by saying this, every time slavery is bought up on this forum in the future, I plan on bringing these issues up AGAIN and again, until we can move on from the past, and enjoy the progress we have today ...without disturbing the rest of those in our past for political gain.

Bailey Jones

I don't defend Jefferson, Charles, or any of them. But you can't judge people of the past by the morality of today, you must judge them by the morality of their times. Please see my last response to Carlos, and if you aren't a member, join the Rosenberg or other local library so you can access the documents of the times. Secession is treason. It was treason in 1860, and so it remains today. And I judge the leaders of the confederacy to be traitors, not worthy of being honored in public spaces. Gather up all these relics of Jim Crow and put them in a museum if you wish - The Museum of America's Worst Ideas.

Gerhard Meinecke

Yes, there was a very important, very valid economic cause, as expressed in the last sentence of Texas' declaration of Secession (see end of quoted excepts from it):

Payment for the forced labor made its cultivation less profitable, bringing this reasoning right back to the Secession's real motivation.

Adding the side issue of border intrusion, while ignoring or downplaying the part excerpted below, which is, like it or not, the very heart of the Declaration, does not render continued glorification of the confederacy and its leaders justified. It is a retrospective observation, but just a fraction of the military effort subsequently mounted to defend slavery added in some form to border defense would have greatly improved that situation.

The real question one needs to ask is whether whoever keeps defending the glamorization of the vestiges of the Confederacy does so out of ignorance or cognitive dissonance! Maybe harboring, even today, adherence to its real cause?

As to the achievements of its leaders, what counts most in a life is where he or she stood at its conclusion.

"Texas Declaration of Secession

http://www.civil-war.net/pages/texas_declaration.asp

Texas ... was received into the confederacy ... as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery - the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits - a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time.

The States of Maine, ...have deliberately, directly or indirectly violated the 3rd clause of the 2nd section of the 4th article [the fugitive slave clause] of the federal constitution, …. designed by its framers to perpetuate the amity between the members of the confederacy and to secure the rights of the slave-holding States in their domestic institutions - a provision founded in justice and wisdom,

In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity …. based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color - a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law.

That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states."

Charles Douglas

Mr. JONES, you say secession is treason, and that it was the same in the times of the Civil war and it is the same today? You say we have to judge people by the morality of their times of life? Really? For Real? Allow me sir if you will! I try to live by more than the times of tenure on this earth, or by any doctrine the wind might blow my way, where people tolerate what is good in their own eyes! I don't need the library to tell me what I don't want to know sir. I do need God's word and the Gospel to tell me what is the right thing to do. Hebrews 13:8 says Jesus Christ is the same YESTERDAY, today, and forever! What God said was right in the past has not changed. What he is saying is right now was also right in the past in proportion to his will back then. I say that because of the two covenants, with Jesus forfilling the Mosaic Law by love! So the Old Law did not pass away but was forfilled by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Chris and the Law of Spirit and Life! ( Romans 8:1-2 ). Do you think a Holy God will say it was fine for Jefferson to OWN, beat, and rape slaves, and tell JEB Stuart, you wicked fool, you will pay for this? Please understand I could care less about the morality, or the wickedness of a man's heart back then juxtapose to the condition of hearts today! Everybody will have to account for what they did here in life. That is for Real, because,... Acts 10:34 States ....God is no respecter of persons!. No need for me to drag this out. NOW sir can I count on you to help me get that BADDDDDD MANNNNN'S head on Mount Rushmore? I need some help!! Lolo

Bailey Jones

"I don't need the library to tell me what I don't want to know." This would make a great T Shirt. Seriously, Charles, are you saying that you, like Jesus and Paul, condone slavery?

David Hardee

This has been a wondrous wanderer’s thread! The laws of man and God have been proclaimed in support and denial. Today and history are explored for effects when and why. This struggle is necessary on such a difficult issue. Is it the Statue or the Symbolism? Were the Statues appropriate then and grew to be offensive as a subset of society achieved power?

All the above is relevant. Relevant only as a debate that juxtaposes time (periods) on the debate. Debating the past against the current creates an un-resolvable circular argument. No matter the interpretation it won’t change what was or what is. The most important debate is the effect of what is currently at issue. Is there a benefit to the eradication of the offensive statues? Yes. That subset of the society will be appeased. Is it beneficial to appease that subset? Yes, but the other side of the issue may become irritated. To do or not to do again is in debate. Democracy acquires Justice (resolution) by voting and majority prevails. Then if all accept the majority opinion tranquility is restored. Elections are the solution – ha ha.

Thanks for reading. P.s. If we eradicate these statues what will we do when a subset of society declares offensive the statues of Lincoln or Jesus or Martin Luther King or Mount Rushmore? Slippery slopes are unforeseen circumstance, often.

Raymond Lewis

That was a pretty remarkable statement from Mr. Douglas (or anyone else) to say the least! Hope he didn't really mean it. I will remember it for sure; "I don't need the library to tell me what I don't want to know."

Charles Douglas

I did not get Hebrews 13:8 and Acts 10:34 out of the Library. I would think if anything I said was remarkable, repeating what GOD said would have been it. The fact that it was not is something I will remember. It would seem that the problem with this sociaty, and this world even, is some people desires to be smarter that the individual who made them, by evolving to marching to the tune of what other men says is right, and not what God's word dictates is right! That being true, nobody should be surprised, ...that other people will always march to a different tune. ( God's ) Now, ...that would be a good thing to remember in my opinion. Lastly, did I mean what I said? I did not go where I've been and back, all these years by saying WHAT I did not mean!

Charles Douglas

Having a desire to be smarter than one's creator. Hey, wasn't that the reason God kicked Lucifer out of heaven? Warning! Be careful with that!

Bailey Jones

Take heed that the light which is in thee be not darkness.

Charles Douglas

Luke 11:35!!!! My man!!!!! See this is what happens when the Word of God comes on the scene!!!! Change starts manifesting! People start to hear, see, and receive! That's all I know!!! AAAAAAAAAMEN!!!!

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