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KMOV.com 12 July, 2021 - 10:41am 43 views

Why did they take down the Lewis and Clark statue?

The reason was to announce the relocation of the Sacajawea, Lewis and Clark monument from the intersection of West Main and Ridge streets. ... This was also around the same time that Charlottesville's Confederate monuments were put up by the same benefactor, Paul Goodloe McIntire. Charlottesville TomorrowSacajawea, Lewis, and Clark statue comes down

Shortly after the city carted away a monument to Confederate general Stonewall Jackson and a statue of Robert E. Lee that triggered a deadly weekend of violence in 2017, workers carried off two more statues that critics said depicted Native Americans in a racist and disparaging manner.

The second statue, outside a downtown federal courthouse and meant to honor Lewis and Clark’s expedition to the Pacific, showed Meriwether Lewis and William Clark standing straight and staring into the distance as Sacagawea crouched at their side.

The takedown of the Rogers Clark statue Sunday had been months in the making: A U-Va. racial equity task force recommended removing it last summer, and the university’s Board of Visitors approved the suggestion that fall, according to the Daily Progress. By contrast, the Charlottesville City Council voted unanimously in an emergency meeting Saturday to take down the Lewis, Clark and Sacagawea statue.

The removals can be traced to years of activism, said Anthony Guy Lopez, a U-Va. graduate and Crow Creek Sioux tribal member who began petitioning the city to take down the Lewis, Clark and Sacagawea statue in 2009. He called the twin takedowns “an exorcism of state violence” against Native Americans.

“If art can be evil, these were evil,” Lopez said. “What this says to American Indians is that violence is part of our lives, and that we have to not only accept but glorify it.”

U-Va. officials did not respond to requests for comment Sunday. The Daily Progress reported that the removal of the Rogers Clark statue would take several days and cost about $400,000. The university has not announced what it will do with the statue, although officials said they will confer with students and members of Charlottesville’s Native American community to decide its fate.

City Council member Michael Payne said the council voted to develop a plan to move the Lewis, Clark and Sacagawea statue in fall 2019. But the council sped up matters — and called the emergency vote Saturday — after the contracting company that removed the Jackson and Lee statues suddenly offered to take down the monument at no additional cost, Payne said.

“The council’s vote had always been to move it, it was just a matter of all the technicalities that need to be in place to happen,” he said.

The removal of the Rogers Clark statue began midmorning Sunday. About 10:30 a.m., several dozen people watched from across the street — their vision obscured by six-foot-tall fences wrapped in opaque black tarp — as five workers in neon vests dismantled it. The workers placed harnesses around the monument, then used a hammer and wedge to loosen it from its podium.

By about noon, the sculpture was gone. In the muggy 88-degree heat, the workers chipped away at a gray stone pedestal to reveal a squat brick structure. Two cranes hoisted pieces of the stone into the air and deposited them in neat stacks off to one side.

A steady stream of cars drove past on Main Street West, a typically busy thoroughfare that is home to bars and restaurants.

A few blocks down, incoming U-Va. freshman Katelyn Woolfrey, 18, said she was glad the statue will be gone when she comes to campus this fall. Woolfrey was visiting for the weekend from her home in Orange County, Va.

“We already know about the history,” she said. “I don’t think we need a big statue celebrating it.”

Nearby, Akhil Rekulapelli, 21 and a rising fourth-year undergrad at U-Va., said he had only learned “bits and pieces” about Rogers Clark and his role in American history.

Rogers Clark, born in 1752 in Virginia’s Albemarle County, was older brother to William Clark. During the Revolutionary War, he led a militia that battled the British and their Native American allies in Kentucky and Ohio. Thomas Jefferson named Rogers Clark a brigadier general in 1781. After the war, he fought Native American tribes on the Western frontier to gain land for White settlers.

Most of what Rekulapelli knew about Rogers Clark came from a plaque beside the sculpture, he said — and that unforgettable inscription calling him a “conqueror.”

Rekulapelli was glad to see the statue go, he said, especially given its prominent position on a strip of street connecting U-Va.’s campus to downtown Charlottesville.

“If any group feels oppressed or doesn’t feel welcome” because of a statue, Rekulapelli said, that statue should be taken down. “Universities are kind of these cathedrals of knowledge, and it’s so important that we don’t push people away.”

In arguing for the statues’ removal, opponents also have pointed to the timing of the monuments’ erections a century ago. They argue the statues were meant to reinforce racist beliefs and policies then being espoused by Charlottesville’s politicians and prominent citizens.

All four statues — those of Lee; Jackson; Rogers Clark; and Lewis, Clark and Sacagawea — were commissioned by Paul Goodloe Mc­Intire, a stockbroker whose name still adorns streets and buildings throughout the city.

At that time, Virginia state legislators were working to pass racial purity laws that cemented segregation, in part by banning mixed-race marriages. And Charlottesville’s Ku Klux Klan membership was spiking, reaching its highest level in 1924, the year McIntire commissioned the Lee statue, according to C-VILLE Weekly.

Then-Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy said in 2016 that some city residents believe the Lee statue was installed as a “psychological tool to show dominance of the majority over the minority.”

City Council member Lloyd Snook said in an interview Saturday that he regrets that the rapid-fire removals this weekend are causing some to link Lewis and Clark with Lee and Jackson. Unlike the latter two, Lewis and Clark should not be remembered for committing treason against the United States, he noted.

“It’s unfortunate for history that they will end up getting lumped together,” Snook said. “But it was fortunate for the city that we were able to get it done without additional cost.”

Read full article at KMOV.com

WATCH NOW: UVa removes George Rogers Clark statue, a step in the right direction, say Native Americans, others

The Daily Progress 12 July, 2021 - 10:12am

A crane is set up Sunday to remove the University of Virginia’s statue of Revolutionary War-era military leader George Rogers Clark confronting three Native Americans. WATCH NOW: Find more photos and video at DailyProgress.com.

Members of the Monacan Indian Nation hold hands as the Clark statue is lifted from its pedestal.

The removal of the George Rogers Clark statue at the University of Virginia on Sunday was for some a symbolic first step toward repairing the harm the monument represented over the course of its 100-year history.

Workers strapped and adjusted the statue for about two hours before it was removed from its base, loaded onto a flatbed truck and taken to an undisclosed location.

Erected in 1921, the statue depicts Clark on a horse, attacking a Native American family while backed by three frontiersmen wielding rifle, pistol and powder. It was paid for by Paul Goodloe McIntire, who also commissioned the three statues that were removed by the city of Charlottesville on Saturday — those of Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and one of Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and Sacagawea.

Zac Russell, a UVa undergraduate and citizen of the Cherokee Nation, said the George Rogers Clark statue almost deterred him from attending the university. To Russell, the statue symbolized a celebration of genocide of Native people.

“To see it removed, I’m just filled with joy,” he said. “That statue over the last 100 years has caused a lot of pain, so I’m glad to see that the statue can no longer cause pain.”

Crews started setting up the crane around 7:45 a.m. Sunday as dozens of people gathered along West Main Street to watch, including activists, UVa students, local Native Americans who had worked to get the statue removed and joggers who happened on the scene.

“This is finally the beginning of telling the truth about our history and not the end of things,” said Teresa Pollack, a member of the Monacan Indian Nation.

Pollack said the statue was one of Karenne Wood’s “biggest pet peeves.” Wood, who died in 2019, was a lifelong advocate for Native Americans and a member of the Monacans.

“She passed away before she could see this, but she would be very happy on this day,” Pollack said.

Allison Bigelow, the Tom Scully Discovery Chair associate professor of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese at UVa, said she saw the removal as one step toward UVa making things right.

“Making things right would include hiring native faculty, increasing undergraduate admissions for Native American students, including tuition remission as part of a Land Back campaign,” she said. “I think there’s a lot of good things that UVa could be doing, and I’m hopeful that this will be a step in that direction.”

Bigelow, Pollack and Russell were members of the George Rogers Clark Committee in President Jim Ryan’s office, along with other faculty, community members, administrators and Native American Student Union representatives.

The committee has invited all tribal nations whose ancestors potentially were affected by contact with Clark to participate in the next stage of deciding what to do with the statue and the space, following guidelines from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Bigelow said.

The university’s Racial Equity Task Force report last summer recommended the statue be removed, and UVa’s Board of Visitors gave its approval in September.

Clark was born in Albemarle County in 1752, an older brother of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition. He was named a brigadier general in 1781 by then-Virginia Gov. Thomas Jefferson and was the highest ranking American military officer on the northwestern frontier during the Revolutionary War.

A UVa spokesman previously said that site work will continue for several days, and intermittent lane closures were announced for the area around the statue, to last through Friday. An update on the lane closures was not available Sunday evening.

Team Henry Enterprises, a Newport News-based contracting firm, was on site Sunday morning after being awarded the removal contract last week following an open bidding process. The company also oversaw the removals for the city the prior day and several Confederate statues in Richmond last summer. The company previously served as the general contractor on the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at UVa.

After the Clark statue was secured to the bed of the truck, Team Henry Enterprises CEO Devon Henry allowed members of the Monacan tribe a closer look at the statue before it left the area.

The removal was expected to cost about $400,000, officials said at a June Board of Visitors meeting, but contract details were not available at press time.

Lisa Woolfork, an associate professor at UVa and a Black Lives Matter organizer, said the statue was a “continual, perpetual slap in the face — to honor and somehow enshrine the despoilment of a people.”

“This is the very first step, the bare minimum, toward accountability, and my hope is that this can be the first step in the larger process of the University of Virginia repairing the harm that this represents, increasing Native American students, faculty and Native American studies as a discipline,” she said.

Marcia Mitchell walked from her house to witness the statue removal. She said she learned to walk with her grandparents at the statue.

“My grandparents would never have thought this would happen, never,” she said. “It’s a good day.”

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Allison Wrabel is the Albemarle County reporter for The Daily Progress. Contact her at (434) 978-7261, awrabel@dailyprogress.com or @craftypanda on Twitter.

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The statue of George Rogers Clark is removed from its base on Sunday, July 11, 2021, at the University of Virginia.

A crane is set up Sunday to remove the University of Virginia’s statue of Revolutionary War-era military leader George Rogers Clark confronting three Native Americans. WATCH NOW: Find more photos and video at DailyProgress.com.

Members of the Monacan Indian Nation hold hands as the Clark statue is lifted from its pedestal.

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Sacajawea, Lewis, and Clark statue comes down

Charlottesville Tomorrow 12 July, 2021 - 10:12am

Credit: Mike Kropf / Charlottesville Tomorrow

Contractors prepare the statue for removal on July 10, 2021.

Credit: Mike Kropf / Charlottesville Tomorrow

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Zyahna Bryant’s words have moved tons of bronze. The statues of Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson astride horses were plucked from their perches in downtown Charlottesville early Saturday morning and hauled off... More

After five years of legal hurdles, a change in state law, white supremacist rallies and a Supreme Court of Virginia ruling, Charlottesville’s monuments of Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson are finally coming down,... More

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UPDATE: Lewis and Clark statue removed as well

CBS19 News 12 July, 2021 - 10:12am

UPDATE: The statue was moved to Darden Towe Park in Albemarle County on Saturday.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- In an emergency meeting, the Charlottesville City Council has voted to remove the  Lewis and Clark and Sacajawea statue Saturday.

The council had already voted to move the statue following discussion with Native American representatives, but it wasn't going to be removed yet.

This decision was reached Saturday because of the speed at which the contractor was able to remove the statues of Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.

The statue will be moved to a city-owned or city co-owned location for storage.

At this time, the city has closed all of the streets in the area near the Ridge-McIntire-West Main Street intersection.

The closures are expected to last for a couple of hours while the statue is taken down.

VIDEO: Charlottesville Tears Down Lewis, Clark, and Sacagawea Statue

Breitbart 12 July, 2021 - 10:10am

The city’s remaining contested statue was torn from its pedestal Saturday once Charlottesville’s City Council voted unanimously to take down the statue of Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and Sacagawea.

“The statue of Lewis, Clark and Sacagawea departed the intersection where it has stood since 1919 at around 2:45 p.m. aboard a flatbed truck,” the Daily Progress reported, adding the removal took approximately an hour and a half.

It was transported to Darden Towe Park in Albermarle County, which is where the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center is located, the article continued:

The council voted to approve a resolution that said the statue shall be removed from its current location on West Main Street and transported to a storage location owned, or co-owned by the city, and authorized the city manager to carry out this relocation. The meeting was announced 20 minutes prior in an email sent to the press holding credentials to cover the removal of the Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson statues in the morning.

Video footage showed bystanders watching as crews removed the historic statue:

According to City Manager Chip Boyles, the meeting was called because the removal of the Confederate statues went so well the crew would be able to take down the Lewis, Clark, and Sacagawea figure with no extra funding.

“On Wednesday, city councilors appropriated $1 million for the removal of all three statues,” the report said.

At Saturday’s meeting, the council also debated the potential for the statue to be placed at the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center.

Alexandria Searls, director of the center, said it worked with Shoshone people interested in creating recontextualized art to be placed with the statues, the Progress report continued.

“The statue of Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and Sacagawea was sculpted by Charles Keck, who was a prominent sculptor of his day,” the Visit Charlottesville website read:

The figures of Lewis, Clark and Sacajewea face west, and are considered historically accurate with lovely proportions and beautiful details. To appreciate the statue fully, the visitor should look carefully at the base of the statue, where the written descriptions are supplemented by carvings which represent significant aspects of their journey.

These include a buffalo hunt, tribal council, lines representing a river, the American eagle and the seals of both the United States and the state of Virginia. The statue represents not only the first public depiction of the famous Corps of Discovery in Charlottesville, but expresses the popular sentiments of the day towards the general themes of exploration, national purpose and conquest of the wilderness of North America.

The statue has received criticism for portraying Sacagawea in a crouched position, but some historians interpreted her position as directing the explorers and tracking, according to the Progress article.


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George Rogers Clark statue on U.Va.’s campus being removed | WTOP

WTOP 11 July, 2021 - 10:20pm

Acacia James | ajames@wtop.com

The removal is expected to take several days and will be carried out by the same contractor who removed several controversial Charlottesville statues on Saturday — including the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that sparked the deadly Unite the Right rally in 2017.

The statue’s depiction of Native Americans led to calls for its removal.

The university said its Racial Equity Task Force, which was developed following the killing of George Floyd, recommended the statue’s removal. The school’s Board of Visitors approved the recommendation last September.

“This moment offers us a unique opportunity to take actions that will leave a lasting and positive impact on the university that we all love,” UVA President Jim Ryan said during a Board of Visitors meeting back in September.

He described the recommendations as “actions that will make this place more clearly and obviously welcome and open to all.”

Sterling Howell, a coordinator with the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, said every new generation has the opportunity to re-examine the past and reprioritize what aspects of it is told and what is focused on and researched.

“Removing a piece of public art doesn’t change anything about history,” Howell said. “It’s a piece of public art and our public spaces belong to the present. It’s up to the people in the present to decide, it doesn’t change history at all. What it does change is what aspects of our history we prioritize. For 100 years we had monuments to Confederate generals in the middle of a dominant public space. Now, that’s no longer the case.”

Howell said historians, and others, are constantly trying to make the past relevant to the present and understand current circumstances, in terms of where we came from, and how we got here.

He said during the Civil War era, for example, the majority of Albemarle County were enslaved African Americans.

“That was your average Albemarle County person, and their story has never been told,” Howell said.

Howell said he’s optimistic about the future and the public’s desire to learn more about history.

The statue will go into storage while the university works with a committee to find a new location for it.

© 2021 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Copyright © 2021 by WTOP. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

George Rogers Clark statue removed from UVA Grounds

WVIR 11 July, 2021 - 08:32pm

“I think this is a continual slap in the face to honor and somehow enshrine the despoilment of a people,” said Lisa Woolfork who attended the statue removal.

Some people said they felt joy as the statue was lifted off of it’s pedestal.

“This was a celebration of conquest and I don’t think we should be celebrating that,” said Grace Hays, who also attended the statue removal.

The removal cost UVA close to $400,000.

“I’m ecstatic, the statue when I was visiting, considering coming here as a student, is one of the first things I noticed and one of the things that almost prevented me from even coming here,” said bystander Zac Russell.

The statue depicts a scene of militia officers, armed with weapons, lunging toward Indigenous people.

“My hope is that this can be the first step in the larger process of University of Virginia, repairing the harm that this represents, increasing Native American students, faculty and Native American studies as a discipline,” said Lisa Woolfork.

The removal is projected to take nearly a week to complete. UVA has not released where the statue will be moved permanently.

UVA’s George Rogers Clark statue slated for removal Sunday morning

WVIR 10 July, 2021 - 11:04pm

The removal was recommended in UVA’s Racial Equity Task Force’s report and approved by the Board of Visitors in September of 2020.

The statue will be removed from its current home on University Avenue and be moved to storage as the university works to determine what to do with it next.

Site work will continue for several days. UVA does not anticipate any significant interruption to the flow of traffic.

University of Virginia to start removal of George Rogers Clark statue Sunday

WSLS 10 10 July, 2021 - 04:49pm

The school’s Board of Visitors first approved the recommendation in September 2020.

Removal will begin on Sunday and take several days. The university does not anticipate any significant interruptions to traffic in the surrounding area.

The statue will be placed in storage as the university works with a committee to determine a new location for it.

Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.

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