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Confederate artworks in the United States Capitol

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There are seven Confederate figures in the National Statuary Hall Collection, in the United States Capitol.

There are several works of art in the United States Capitol honoring former leaders of the Confederate States of America and generals in the Confederate States Army, including seven statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection, busts and portraits.[1]

These include the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, the Vice President, Alexander H. Stephens, and former U.S. President John Tyler, who sided with the Confederate cause and negotiated the terms for Virginia's entry into the Confederate States of America.[1]

National Statuary Hall Collection

In the National Statuary Hall Collection, housed inside the United States Capitol, each state has provided statues of two citizens that the state wants to honor. Seven Confederate figures are among them, with one pending removal and replacement. The dates listed below reflect when each statue was given to the collection:[2][3]

Other art representing Confederates in the Capitol

  • Howell Cobb (painting purchased by Congress, 1912) Cobb was a five-term member of the House of Representatives and Speaker of the House from 1849 to 1851. He was one of the founders of the Confederacy, was elected President of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States, and later served as a major general in the CSA. He suggested the creation of Andersonville prison. [1]
  • Charles Frederick Crisp (portrait purchased 1893) During the Civil War, Crisp served in the 10th Virginia Infantry as a lieutenant. Later he was elected to Congress and served as both leader of the Democratic Party and Speaker of the House.[1]
  • John Tyler (bust purchased by Congress, 1898) Former U.S. President Tyler headed the committee that negotiated the terms for Virginia's entry into the Confederate States, signed Virginia's Ordinance of Secession on June 14, 1861.[1] Tyler was seated in the Confederate Congress on August 1, 1861, and he served until just before his death in 1862.[13]


The statue of Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry (Alabama, 1908) was replaced by a statue of Helen Keller in 2009.[14]

On June 18, 2020, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ordered four paintings of former Confederates removed from the Speaker's Gallery in the Capitol in the wake of the nationwide protests over the murder of George Floyd while in police custody.[15] "We didn't know about this until we were taking inventory of the statues and the curator told us that there were four paintings of Speakers in the Capitol of the United States, four Speakers who had served in the Confederacy," Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol.[15]

The statue of Robert E. Lee (Virginia, 1909)[16] was removed on December 21, 2020.[17][18] In January 2023, the design of a replacement statue of Barbara Rose Johns was revealed. At the time, sculptor Steven Weitzman stated that the statue would be ready for installation sometime in 2024.[18]

The statue of Edmund Kirby Smith (Florida, 1922) was removed in 2021 and replaced by a statue of Mary McLeod Bethune in 2022.[19]

Unsuccessful legislation for removal

On July 22, 2020, in the midst of the George Floyd protests, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 305–113 to remove a bust of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney (as well as statues honoring figures who were part of the Confederacy during the Civil War) from the U.S. Capitol and replace it with a bust of Justice Thurgood Marshall. The bill called for removal of Taney's bust within 30 days after the law's passage. The bust had been mounted in the old robing room adjacent to the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the Capitol Building. The bill (H.R. 7573[20]) also created a "process to obtain a bust of Marshall ... and place it there within a minimum of two years."[21] After the bill reached the Republican-led Senate on 30 July 2020 (S.4382) it was referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration, but no further action on it was taken.[22]


  1. ^ a b c d e Grosvenor, Edwin (June 2020). "Confederates in Congress: Heritage or Hate?". American Heritage Magazine. 65:3 (June 2020). Archived from the original on January 22, 2021. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  2. ^ DeBonis, Mike (June 23, 2015). "A field guide to the racists commemorated inside the U.S. Capitol". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  3. ^ Brockell, Gillian; Brockell, Gillian (August 16, 2017). "How statues of Robert E. Lee and other Confederates got into the U.S. Capitol". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  4. ^ "Zebulon Vance". Architect of the Capitol. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  5. ^ "Uriah Milton Rose". Architect of the Capitol. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  6. ^ Peters, Ben (April 17, 2019). "Johnny Cash is replacing one of the Capitol's Civil War statues". Roll Call. Retrieved May 30, 2023.
  7. ^ Simpson, Stephen (January 1, 2023). "Arkansas' Bates, Cash statues receive final approvals, ready for bronzing". Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Retrieved May 30, 2023.
  8. ^ "Joseph Wheeler". Architect of the Capitol. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  9. ^ "Alexander Hamilton Stephens". Architect of the Capitol. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  10. ^ "Wade Hampton". Architect of the Capitol. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  11. ^ "Jefferson Davis". Architect of the Capitol. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  12. ^ "James Zachariah George". Architect of the Capitol. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  13. ^ Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861–1865 Volume 1. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1904. pp. 303, 658.
  14. ^ "Helen Keller". Architect of the Capitol. Archived from the original on June 10, 2017. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  15. ^ a b Marcos, Christina. "Pelosi orders removal of Confederate portraits in Capitol". Archived from the original on June 18, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  16. ^ "Robert E. Lee". Architect of the Capitol. April 29, 2016. Archived from the original on August 18, 2017. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  17. ^ Forgery, Quint (December 21, 2020). "Robert E. Lee statue removed from Capitol". Politico. Archived from the original on December 27, 2020. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  18. ^ a b Stewart, Ian M. (January 4, 2023). "Barbara Rose Johns statue design unveiled". VPM. Retrieved May 30, 2023.
  19. ^ "Mary McLeod Bethune becomes first Black American honored in U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall". PBS NewsHour. July 13, 2022. Archived from the original on July 14, 2022. Retrieved May 30, 2023.
  20. ^ "H.R.7573 – To direct the Joint Committee on the Library to replace the bust of Roger Brooke Taney in the Old Supreme Court Chamber of the United States Capitol with a bust of Thurgood Marshall to be obtained by the Joint Committee on the Library and to remove certain statues from areas of the United States Capitol which are accessible to the public, to remove all statues of individuals who voluntarily served the Confederate States of America from display in the United States Capitol, and for other purposes". July 22, 2020. Archived from the original on November 1, 2020. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
  21. ^ Walsh, Deirdre (July 22, 2020). "House Passes Bill Removing Confederate Statues, Other Figures From Capitol". NPR. Archived from the original on July 23, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  22. ^ "S. 4382: A bill to direct the Joint Committee on the Library to replace the bust of Roger Brooke Taney in the Old Supreme Court Chamber of the Capitol with a bust of Thurgood Marshall to be obtained by the Joint Committee on the Library and to remove certain statues from areas of the Capitol which are accessible to the public, to remove all statues of individuals who voluntarily served the Confederate States of America from display in the Capitol, and for other purposes". July 30, 2020. Archived from the original on February 2, 2021. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
This page was last edited on 17 May 2024, at 20:31
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