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memorials



  • How a Lincoln-Douglass Debate Led to Historic Discovery

    Just like that, a document apparently unknown to Douglass’s biographers and not found in the orator’s papers at the Library of Congress had landed squarely in the middle of the debate that has swept the nation and the neighborhood around Lincoln Park where the statue stands.



  • I’m a Direct Descendant of Thomas Jefferson. Take Down His Memorial.

    by Lucian K. Truscott IV

    it’s time to honor one of our founding mothers, a woman who fought as an escaped slave to free those still enslaved, who fought as an armed scout for the Union Army against the Confederacy — a woman who helped to bring into being a more perfect union after slavery, a process that continues to this day. In Jefferson’s place, there should be another statue. It should be of Harriet Tubman.



  • A Monument to Our Shared Purpose

    by Allen C. Guelzo and James Hankins

    The Freedmen’s Memorial in Washington embodies not white supremacy, but African-American agency and cooperative struggle.



  • Confederates in the Capitol

    by William Hogeland

    Even as the United States declined to enforce the Constitution in the former Confederate states, demolishing black citizens’ lives and liberty, first Lee and then the ten other Confederate statues arrived in the hall, with others that have since been replaced, and were embraced by the collection. The whole federal government approved.



  • The True Story of the Freed Slave Kneeling at Lincoln’s Feet

    by Laurie Maffly-Kipp

    The silence of the fugitive slave, the stillness and nakedness of the figure of Archer Alexander on the Emancipation Memorial, may well reflect the fragments of African American life that whites were able to see, but they should not be mistaken for empty space or lack of a voice.



  • Calhoun-Fall

    by Peter H. Wood

    "When word spread that the Charleston City Council had voted unanimously to remove the domineering figure from his skyscraping column, I thought of a comment Walt Whitman recorded at the end of the Civil War. After Confederate forces had surrendered at Appomattox Court House, the poet overheard a Union soldier observe that the true monuments to Calhoun were the wasted farms and gaunt chimneys scattered over the South."



  • Should the Freedmen’s Memorial Stay or Go?

    by Kevin M. Levin

    In considering what to do about the emancipation memorial, academic observers would do well to consider the gap between their understanding of a statue's public impact and the way that black residents experience it. 



  • Yes, D.C.’s Emancipation Memorial Advances White Supremacy

    by Rebekah Bryer

    The argument that freed slaves commissioned the Emancipation Memorial is only half true; white officials used the funds but ignored designs that expressed a role for the enslaved in bringing about emancipation.