2 City-Owned Confederate Monuments To Be Moved, 2 Others To Be Kept
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on Wednesday announced what the future holds for four city-owned Confederate monuments on public land.
The announcement comes following a report submitted by the mayor’s special commission on the issue. The four Confederate monuments that were evaluated were the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Mount Royal Avenue near Mosher Street; the Confederate Women’s Monument at Bishop Square Park; the Roger B. Taney Monument at Mt. Vernon Place; and the Lee & Jackson Monument at Wyman Park Dell.
“I would like to personally thank the Commission members and City staff who took on this important task. I also want to thank the citizens of Baltimore and other interested parties who attended hearings and submitted testimony regarding these monuments,” Rawlings-Blake said in a statement. “This took great courage and skill. I hope that their efforts can become a model for other jurisdictions throughout the country on how to create an impartial, fair, and democratic process to address complex issues of history and race.”
The commission included seven mayoral appointees, who spent several months reviewing the monuments. The commission included four members of the Baltimore City Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation and three members from the Baltimore City Public Arts Commission. They researched what other cities faced with similar concerns have done, and held four public meetings.
They recommended the Lee-Jackson monument be removed and offered to the National Park Service to be placed in Chancellorsville Battlefield, a Civil War historic site in Virginia. The soldiers and sailors monument, and the women’s monument would be kept where they are, with added financial support and re-contextualization.
The Taney monument will be moved from Mount Vernon Place and away from public access, though its long-term future isn’t clear. While Taney, a former chief justice of the Supreme Court, did not join the confederacy in the years before his death in 1864, he did pen the Dred Scott decision that some historians have linked indirectly to the start of the Civil War. A statue of Taney sits outside the Maryland State House, and similar discussions have taken place in the General Assembly about that statue’s future.
“In the short-term, I am requesting that CHAP will work with stakeholders to install interpretive signage at all 4 monuments,” Rawlings-Blake said. “Furthermore, I am requesting that CHAP and [the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts] consider any viable relocation proposals should such a proposal(s) be made.”
Nobody has yet stepped forward with proposed relocation sites or offers to take ownership of the monuments.
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