Mayor Slay: It’s Time to Rethink Confederate Monument in Forest Park

Lindsay Toler, STL Mag, April 21, 2015

During the official dedication of Forest Park’s only memorial commemorating fallen Confederate soldiers, in December 1914, Mrs. H. N. Spencer asked the city of St. Louis to “guard [Confederate Monument] as a sacred trust.

“It seems fitting that Missouri, so strongly Southern in sentiment, should have the shaft reared here in this, her great metropolis,” said Spencer, who led the $23,000 effort to build the monument, according to Confederate Veteran magazine. “It is the embodiment of our love.”

A century later, in a city still struggling to find unity, Mayor Francis Slay is asking local experts whether preserving the 32-foot granite memorial to the Confederacy would mean continuing to display it in one of St. Louis’ most popular attractions.

ConfederateMonument

For now, the monument sits on Confederate Drive in Forest Park, just a stone’s throw from a statue honoring German immigrants who fought for the Union during the Civil War. Slay announced Tuesday that he’s forming a “centennial reappraisal committee,” made up of representatives from the Missouri History Museum, Forest Park Forever, and the Incarnate Word Foundation, to determine the monument’s future, including a possible relocation.

“Their charge would be to recommend whether, with the benefit of a longer view of history, the monument is appropriately situated in Forest Park–the place where the world was asked to meet and experience St. Louis at its best and most sublime–or whether it should be relocated to a more appropriate setting,” Slay wrote in a blog post.

Whether the memorial is moved or not, Slay also asks the commission to propose a new name for Confederate Drive, suggesting names based on the words “freedom” or “justice.”

{snip}

On the back of the monument are two other inscriptions, offering a romanticized view of the Confederacy’s motives during the Civil War, the first written by Confederate soldier and St. Louisan Robert Catlett Cave:

To the Memory of the Soldiers and Sailors of the Southern Confederacy, who fought to uphold the right declared by the pen of Jefferson and achieved by the sword of Washington, with sublime self sacrifice they battled to preserve the independence of the states which was won from Great Britain, and to perpetuate the constitutional government which was established by the fathers.

Actuated by the purest patriotism they performed deeds of prowess such as thrilled the heart of mankind with admiration. Full in the front of war they stood and displayed a courage so superb that they gave a new and brighter luster to the annals of valor. History contains no chronicle more illustrious than the story of their achievements; and although, worn out by ceaseless conflict and overwhelmed by numbers, they were finally forced to yield, their glory, on brightest pages penned by poets and by sages shall go sounding down the ages.

Below Cave’s words is an inscription quoting Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee: “We had sacred principles to maintain and rights to defend for which we were duty bound to do our best, even if we perished in the endeavor.”

{snip}

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  • Hilis Hatki

    Traditional America is being redefined. There is no tie, only win or lose. Soon half of Americans will not even have a ancestor that fought in WW2.

    • Tim

      Old Man to Tim- “Son, in the Battle of the Atlantic you had your lambs, you had your wolves and you had your sheep dogs. Your Old Man was a lamb…” Gunners Mate – U. S. Naval Armed Guard on the S.S. Lou Gehrig. Took part in Sicily… Salerno… Philippine Liberation and Bikini Atoll A -Bomb Test…

  • Fourteen years ago, when Slay first started as mayor, he ordered the state flags of Mississippi and Georgia removed from City Hall, because they both (at the time) contained the Confederate Naval Jack. Even though since then, Georgia has changed its flag to look more like the First National, its flag has still not been returned.

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    They talk about evaluating the monument “with the benefit of a longer view of history.” I think what they really mean is evaluating it with a shorter view of history. A longer view of history would recognize the fact that slavery has been practiced throughout history, and that it was primarily whites who spearheaded its demise. And it occurred at the cost of much blood, hardship and sacrifice. As far as the monument offering a “romanticized view of the Confederacy’s motives,” is anyone going to tell me that monuments to Mike King don’t also offer heavily romanticized (if not totally fictionalized) views of his motives? I consider this Confederate monument as offering a much needed alternate viewpoint to modern-day shortsightedness, the wisdom of our forebears coming back from the past to give us some much needed lessons for the present.

    • Cheri Rodriguez

      Liberals and blacks love the fact that The Union decimated the South but then cry about that same Union turning their guns on the Indians. How do the Feds go from being good in the former to evil in the latter? People who are anti-Confederacy can’t have it both ways. Either Washington was a bunch of genocidal bullies from 1860-1890s or they weren’t.

      • gemjunior

        Goooood question – I never thought of it like that but you are 100% right. We can’t be good in one case and evil in another. I can’t wait to use this argument ( I will of course credit “a wise woman”) ….

        • Cheri Rodriguez

          Nope. 40-ish male.

    • Irish

      Chattel slavery exist in few places in the modern world . Africa is one where it most certainly does.

    • Weisheit77

      Shh… If you speak too much truth you’ll have swat team members swinging in through the windows on ropes.

  • propagandaoftruth

    Whether the memorial is moved or not, Slay also asks the commission to propose a new name for Confederate Drive, suggesting names based on the words “freedom” or “justice.”
    ————-
    How about White Genocide street?

    • Reynardine

      White Genocide street? We already have that, we just call it Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

      • Jefferson Goodberry

        Congrats, Reynardine! Your comment just won the Internet for today!

  • stonepillow

    I’m a born and bred New Yorker, yet I had ancestor who died fighting under StoneWall Jackson – I can take you to the exact spot where he was killed at the Deep Cut on the second day of Second Manassas. I honor him. But our “diverse” society now disallows that innocent and loving diversity. For that I spit on it just as I believe he would have.

    • phillyguy

      99 percent of the people in this country don’t know that the vast majority of people in Philadelphia and New York city hated Lincoln and his policy, many of the largest plantation owners and their families had their summer homes in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania was still trying to vote to seceed from the Union even when the war started, but the industrialist and the bankers who were to make in millions with the war would not let that happen.

      • IstvanIN

        South Jersey was very sympathetic to the Confederate cause.

        • phillyguy

          And New Jersey was the last northern state forced to abolish slavery.

      • John Smith

        Many Southerners of means were educated in the North.

    • Mangosteen, $1000 chair

      Just don’t honor your ancestors by having a Confederate flag!

  • Simonetta

    People need to realize that they should leave monuments alone. They weren’t put up to anger or annoy you. They were put up by people in the past to inform people of the future what happened at this place at a certain time in the past. They (the monuments) are not statements erected by people of today to make you angry. You are just one of the many people (of future generations) that the people of the past have attempted to speak to through the act of erecting a monument. If you are annoyed or offended by the monument, then write a letter to your local historical society explaining your reasons. But civilized people don’t tear down monuments erected by other civilized people of the past. You certainly don’t want young stupid hot-heads a hundred years from now tearing down the important monuments that you are building!

    • Charles Martel

      Anything created angers those without the capacity to create

    • TruthBeTold

      What people don’t understand is that we had a second American Revolution. It was called the Civil Rights Movement.

      Since then our enemies have been systematically redefining our history before the CRM as ‘racist’ and resetting our history based on the CRM.

    • Charles Brumbelow

      Ah, but what monuments are they building?

  • Luca

    Rewriting history and tearing down monuments. You see it happening in most third-world cesspools. The cultural Marxists are killing America with a thousand cuts.

    • TruthBeTold

      The UN defines this cultural genocide.

      • Guest

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  • Steve_in_Vermont

    History is what it is. When we start “modifying” it to become politically correct we do so at our own peril. You might not agree with it, but for millions of people it was very real and, for this reason, must be respected……and maintained. As someone once said, I may disagree with what you say but I’ll fight to the death to defend your right to do so.

  • Charles Martel

    They can never create only destroy

  • Jason Lewis

    One monument here and there. One school named after a Confederate General here and there. Eventually there won’t be any. I have no idea how far it’s gonna go before a substantial number wake up.

    • A Freespeechzone

      They’ll all be named for Barack Obama as an insult.

      • I thing a municipal landfill should be named after that critter. Does that help?

        • Luca

          Sorry, but a landfill does not deserve that insult.

          A sewage treatment plant…maybe.

      • LexiconD1

        That would be a sure sign of a school NOT to send your kid to.

  • Peter L. Giamatti

    Wait till they get around to that Other Statue in Forest Park. St. Louis IX burned the Talmud, for starters. Made Jews wear insignia so people would beware their financial and other shenanigans. And then the city name will have to change to HandsUpDontShootville or something.

    • JackKrak

      Welcome to Rainbow Love Malcolm X Diversitown!

      This is a White Privilege-Free Zone!

      We welcome everyone regardless of their race, creed, color, faith, gender status, handedness, vegetarian preference, immigration status, English language competence or differently-abled abilities!

      (This sign printed on fair trade metal with biodegradable paints by disadvantaged victims of institutional racism at Rosa Parks Elementary through a generous grant from the Democratic National Committee.)

    • Paleoconn

      Beautiful monument. Thank you for this. So many cities to visit before they vanish forever.

  • dd121

    Ms. Spencer only had to wait a 100 years for her history to disappear. Soon the rest of us.

  • notyranny

    So what’s the difference between Liberals, this mayor and ISIS? Both want to destroy everything that suggests disagreement with their take on things

  • Petronius

    In 2010, New Jersey took down the statue of brave old peg-legged Governor Peter Stuyvesant of the New Netherlands Colony. The statue had stood in Jersey City for over 100 years, but, like many of our colonial founders, old Pete was a slaveholder, and so his day of reckoning finally came.

    We seem to be evolving a completely new form of political authority: racial and cultural domination by the bearers and privileged interpreters of our history, morality, religion, art, literature, etc. By this means, our people, culture, and history are being erased.

    • phillyguy

      In 50 yrs. They will pull down George Washington’s statue on Wall Street.

  • InAFreeCountry

    The words of the inscription are absolutely beautiful, I don’t see how they are offensive. There’s not any hate there, it recognizes valor, nobility, sacrifice.

  • Mangosteen, $1000 chair

    Let’s all deal with this as politely as possible, God forbid any white person go out and protest or stand up for their heritage. Confederate ancestry is something to be ASHAMED of! Replace it with a statue of that hero, Michael Brown, with a halo, holding his cigars. Now that’s a statue we can all be proud of!

    • Red

      Sometime over the past week I saw a news article about a tree some group recently planted in a Ferguson/St. Louis park to honor the Gentle Giant. It was torn down that same night.
      I owe someone a beer 🙂

      • Good.

        According to the 1970 US census, Ferguson was 99% white at that time. The Cultural Marxists can plant their trees in Africa, and stay there.

        • WhiteVeinKratom

          I’ll second that!

    • A Freespeechzone

      Or Trayvon Martin.

    • Lexonaut

      It’s me again. In spite of our earlier fight about flying the Confedrate flag, I don’t want to see the history of the country rewritten by the cultural Marxists. The war happened, southerners were very brave to stand up against the north, the dead died honorably, and the monuments should remain where and as they were built, with no politically correct renaming of anything for any reason.

    • phillyguy

      This morning the news reported that the brown tribe are suing the city of st. Louis and they st. Louis Police Department for wrongful death of a criminal.

      • Mangosteen, $1000 chair

        It’s only going to get worse. On another site I read that a white guy in TN “harassed” his problem tenants to get them to move out, he’s being charged with civil rights harassment. Can you imagine? This is just the beginning….

  • IKUredux

    So, let’s rid ourselves also of the Washington Monument. Let’s rid ourselves of ALL monuments and statues dedicated or in the likes of WHITES. Burn down Monticello, pillage Mt. Vernon. Change the name of every single solitary thing, city, county, state, township, named after a White. Screw the name America, GET RID OF IT! Name it martinlutherkingistan. Remove EVERYTHING in this forsaken country that is redolent of WHITE MALE.

    Paint that GD White House black. Or, since this country is gonna be hispanic, a more suitable color would be pink.

    Bomb all the museums. The Moslems are gonna do that anyway. Burn down those bitch libraries. Most of those books were written by White males anyway.

    Ban English!

    Rechisel the faces on Mt. Rushmore. Wait, waste of time, that’s against Islam teachings. Just fing blow it out of existence.

    White western civilization sucks. If we Whites had any common decency we would all off ourselves, NOW.

    • Guest

      Well I guess you haven’t seen the latest offering from the US mint: a commemorative Al Sharpton half dollar? I plan to get a few for my coin collection.

    • Well I guess you haven’t seen the latest offering from the US mint? An Al Sharpton commemorative half dollar. I plan to get a few for my coin collection.

      • in the interests of accuracy I suppose I should mention that there really isn’t an Al Sharpton half [yet]. This was created from his image and Corel Photopaint. It does look surprizingly good tho. Maybe I can submit somewhere or carry the photo if I ever am threatened to get mugged as a testament to my PC credentials? I don’t have the experience to create the rounded 3-D lettering for his name.

      • I always thought he’d go good on the $3.

        • don’t get me started on numismatics, but in all seriousness there was a $3 gold piece from 1854 to 1889 minted at Philly, New Orleans, Dahlonega Georgia, and San Franciso. They were made to facilitate buying coils of the new 3 cent 1st class postage stamps. I have tried to buy them but really don’t collect USA coins so haven’t made really serious attempts. A common date in decent uncirculated condition will run around 6K.

      • Rob

        I hope not. Funny that she would keep his name Alexander, which is a European name. If he had any African pride, he would change it to Adibeada

  • MekongDelta69

    How about it’s time to rethink Mayor Slay…

    • Well I hate to tell you, but Francis Slay is the “best” the St. Louis City body politic can produce. It’s all downhill from there.

      • John Smith

        At least he’s a white guy, even if a traitorous lib dem.

  • disqus_enr1zebHGU

    Rethink it for a while, no hurry. Probably let it stay there for the historical aspects.

  • Irish

    “He who controls the past controls the future, He who controls the present controls the past”..George Orwell, 1984

  • Light from the East

    Never forget, never cease, never grovel – the spirit of the Confederacy.

  • Rob

    Can anyone tell me why is everyone trying to destroy America and white nations alone? Why nobody wants to bother with other countries??

    • Peters

      Most of the non white countries are destroying themselves with no outside help needed.

  • Peter L. Giamatti

    Actually the Jews of his time thought he was a great friend of the Jews. It’s only through the modern lens (and of course Frankfort school/PC) that he gets lumped in with Hitler et al. Most Christian kings and Bishops of Europe were considered protectors of the Jews. They protected Jews from the rabble who complained of Jewish practices. The Kings/Bishops were more understanding than the rabble of the Jewish predicament: wandering, in exile, trying to live as a people set apart. And then many kings made deals with the Jews because they needed money that the Jews had access to..

  • Peter L. Giamatti

    The worst part of this is just the knuckle-dragging ignorance of it all.

    History is a wondrous subject, full of many hues and subtleties. But it is all monochromatic to the SJW’s. The “Wig View of History”, some call it. Future generations will not have the pleasure of studying history as it ought to be studied. It is just going to be rote memes.

    I have many axes to grind: Confederate, Catholic, Italian, Irish, white etc., but there is not a single case in which I do not see the sense and reason of the people who opposed my people. “Close minded”, the SJWs call me. (-:

  • Peter L. Giamatti

    Take all of The Band albums out of the used record stores, Mayor Slay!

  • chuck_2012

    I think Mayor Slay should leave the monument and the street names alone. Why wipe out history if it is a little uncomfortable to some citizens? Let them put up their own monument to, lets say, cotton picking.

  • Rossbach

    Erase a nation’s history and you erase the nation.

  • Fr. John+

    Lindsay Toler is a self-hating Anglo who is under 30, (at least from her twitter page) and therefore, has NO conception of what the ‘long-term’ view on ANYTHING is.

    This article is not as bad as some white-bashing pieces, but it clearly totes the ‘Whites bad, negro good’ mantra she has probably been indoctrinated from her youth. She appears young enough to even have had ‘Heather has two mommies’ read to her by some liberal Aunt, or ‘girlfriend.’

    There are NO ‘romanticized views of the Civil War’ by Southernors. They bled and died to keep the America the Founding Fathers created alive. It was not Jefferson Davis who abolished habeas corpus. It was not he who had hellholes for prisons for fellow Americans in the North. It was not the South that enacted, in a gross piece of ‘fiat legislation’ the fallacy that a hominid worth 3/5ths of a white man, could somehow ‘magically’ become a White Englishman.

    No Miss Toler. Don’t pander your lack of maturity (and possibly intellect) by bringing up discredited lies, over and over again, simply because you feel absolved by having a Marxists Mulatto in the ‘White’ house.

  • Paleoconn

    German immigrants who fought for the Union during the Civil War.

    ——-

    I suppose even German immigrants aren’t perfect.

  • Earl P. Holt III

    This idiot thinks that if he panders to the alligators enough, they will eat him last…or convert to vegetarianism…