Posted on October 9, 2018

‘Slave Owner’: James Monroe Statue at William & Mary Vandalized

Sarah Fearing, Williamsburg Yorktown Daily, October 8, 2018

William & Mary Police are investigating after a statue of James Monroe was graffitied with the words “slave owner” late last month.

A crime log the school sent out Monday says a “non-student” was detained for writing on a statue at 1:36 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29 outside Tucker Hall.


The statue has since been cleaned, and the incident remains under investigation.


This is not the first time a campus statue or building has been vandalized with racially- or politically-charged graffiti.

In February 2017, a person painted the hands of a Thomas Jefferson statue red. The graffiti was part of a six-incident spree on campus from Feb. 10 to 11, 2017, which garnered national media attention.

“Punch ur local nazi” and “Smash Fascism” were also spray-painted on a campus road and a fence.

“Robert Gates is a war criminal” was painted on a building near Andrews Hall, and an anarchy symbol was painted on a nearby sidewalk.

“No nations borders” was spray-painted on the walkway near James Blair Hall. “Genocide happened here” was painted on the walkway near the Kaplan Arena.

More recently, in August, several racially-charged messages were left on Yates and Gooch halls saying “Still built by slaves,” “Slaves built ur bed” and “Still uses slave labor.”

Zagursky said no one has been charged in connection with the past incidents, although they are still under investigation.


In April, the William & Mary Board of Visitors formally apologized for the school’s role in slavery and discrimination.

Now, the university is soliciting ideas for a memorial to those once enslaved at the college.