Jefferson Davis Monument

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Jefferson Davis Monument
DavisPkwyJeffDavisStatueFront.jpg
The monument in 2015
Location New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.

The Jefferson Davis Monument, also known as the Jefferson Davis Memorial, was an outdoor sculpture and memorial to Jefferson Davis, installed at Jeff Davis Parkway and Canal Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States from 1911 to 2017.[1]

Description[edit]

Richmond artist Edward Virginius Valentine was the sculptor of the monument. A stone marker about 20 feet behind the sculpture reads: Site of Jefferson Davis Monument/Dedicated June 3rd 1908.[2]

History[edit]

Dedication[edit]

The statue's dedication in 1911

The statue itself was dedicated on the 22nd of February, 1911. The "Whites Only" ceremony included a mass of school children dressed in red, white, and blue forming a Confederate "living battle flag", in which formation the sang "Dixie". The date of dedication was said to correspond with the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of Jefferson Davis as President of the Confederate States of America, though the actual anniversary would have been 4 days earlier since Davis's inauguration was on 18 February 1861.[3]

Controversy[edit]

"Slave owner" vandalism

Since at least 2003 the statue was the subject of frequent vandalism.[4][5]

After the Charleston church shooting in 2015, a concerted effort was launched to remove several monuments from public spaces in New Orleans, with Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell citing the Jefferson Davis Monument as "the one that really has some momentum around it."[6] A grassroots activist group, Take Em Down NOLA, campaigned for their removal.[7]

By decision of the New Orleans City Council in December 2015, the statue was ordered to be removed[8] and stored in a warehouse until another location is sought.[9] Pro-monument protestors, many from out of state, bearing Confederate flags and open-carrying firearms, surrounded the monument for weeks.[10][11] They were confronted by locals who supported removal, and confrontations grew more heated until the City cordoned the area.[12][13]

The New Orleans local chapter of the Green Party of Louisiana issued a statement in support of the removal.[14]

Removal[edit]

The monument's foundation after the removal of the statue, its pedestal and base.[15]

On May 11, 2017, the statue of Davis was removed, on order from the City, despite the presence of dozens of protesters and supporters.[16] Those removing the statue wore masks and helmets to hide their identities and the company name on their truck was hidden.[17] After the statue's removal, the pedestal and base were also removed, leaving only the foundation. The cost of removing the statue was split between private donations and the City of New Orleans.[18][19]

The statue has been placed in storage at an undisclosed location. The city has stated that it will be relocated, but no specific plans have been announced.[20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reckdahl, Katy (March 29, 2012). "3 defaced New Orleans monuments are cleaned by volunteers". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved August 17, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Jefferson Davis Monument". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 15 October 2016. 
  3. ^ "Davis statue unveiled with much ceremony". The Times-Democrat. 1911-02-23. 
  4. ^ Everson, Bart (2017-05-08). "Me and J.D. go way back". Mid-City Messenger. Retrieved 2017-05-12. 
  5. ^ "Jefferson Davis: Slave Owner". New Orleans Historical. Retrieved 2017-04-08. 
  6. ^ White, Jacquetta (June 25, 2015). "Charleston killings lead to calls for removing monuments to Confederate heroes in New Orleans". The New Orleans Advocate. Retrieved August 17, 2015. 
  7. ^ Campbell-Rock, C.C. (2015-12-07). "Protesters march against racist statues to pressure officials to take action". Louisiana Weekly. Retrieved 2017-05-16. 
  8. ^ Torres, Manuel (December 18, 2015). "Lee Circle battle moves to court: Federal lawsuit filed to halt monuments removal in New Orleans". nola.com. The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2015-12-19. 
  9. ^ "Jefferson Davis Monument - Stop 3 of 4 in the Confederate Monuments in New Orleans tour". New Orleans Historical. Retrieved 2017-04-08. 
  10. ^ Kaplan-Levenson, Laine (2017-05-02). "Protesters Clash At The Jefferson Davis Confederate Monument". Retrieved 2017-05-12. 
  11. ^ "Monument watch: School letter to parents says Jeff Davis statue coming down tonight". WGNO. 2017-05-11. Retrieved 2017-05-12. 
  12. ^ Hanzo, Jim (2017-05-02). "Barricades go up around Jefferson Davis monument". WWL. Retrieved 2017-05-12. 
  13. ^ Staff, FOX8Live.com (2017-05-03). "SLIDESHOW: Fences going up around the Jefferson Davis monument". Retrieved 2017-05-12. 
  14. ^ Byun, Claire (2017-05-16). "'Symbols of white supremacy:' Green Party condemns Confederate memorials". Mid-City Messenger. Retrieved 2017-05-16. 
  15. ^ Swenson, Dan. "Jefferson Davis Monument: What was taken down and what remains [graphic]". The Advocate. Retrieved 2017-08-20. 
  16. ^ Cosson, Derek (2017-05-11). "New Orleans removes Jefferson Davis monument". The Pulse. Retrieved 2017-05-11. 
  17. ^ Smith, Alexander (2017-05-11). "Mask-wearing crews remove Confederate statue in New Orleans". NBC News. Retrieved 2017-05-12. 
  18. ^ Rainey, Richard (2017-06-09). "Confederate monuments removal in New Orleans costs $2.1 million". NOLA.com. Retrieved 2018-04-26. 
  19. ^ Sanchez, Juan (2017-06-09). "City confirms monument removal cost more than $2.1 million". WDSU. Retrieved 2018-04-26. 
  20. ^ Brasted, Chelsea (2017-05-11). "Confederate monuments in New Orleans: Where will they go next?". NOLA.com. Retrieved 2017-05-12. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°58′11″N 90°05′39″W / 29.96985°N 90.09427°W / 29.96985; -90.09427