Local News

Wilmington temporarily removes two Confederate monuments from downtown

Posted June 25, 2020 8:02 a.m. EDT
Updated June 25, 2020 8:13 a.m. EDT

The Soldiers of the Confederacy Monument in downtown Wilmington. Photo from Edward Orde.

The City of Wilmington has temporarily removed two Confederate monuments from downtown. A tweet from the City of Wilmington said that the removal was in interest of public safety.

One of the memorials is to the soldiers of the Confederacy and sits in the median of 3rd Street and Dock Street. The monument is a legacy of the Confederate soldier Gabriel James Boney and was put up by a number of organizations in the 1920s, including the Daughters of the Confederacy.

The second memorial removed was the George Davis statue in the Market Street median at 3rd Street. This statue is 8-feet tall and bronze, dedicated to a Confederate senator and Attorney General. At the granite base of the statue there are gilded seals of North Carolina and the Confederate states. This statue was also erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy sponsored hundreds of Confederate monuments and statues nationwide, including the Henry Lawson Wyatt statue removed from Captiol Grounds. Historians say that Confederate monuments put up by the Daughters of the Confederacy were meant to intimidate African-Americans during the Jim Crow era.

Supporters of these statues argue that these statues honor their ancestors and help southerners remember their history. But historians argue that these statues rewrite history and deny that slavery was the root cause for the Civil War.

The statues have been the center of debate after the removal of other monuments to the Confederacy in states across the country. A nightly curfew in the areas around the statues had been in place since Saturday. Wilmington City Council discussed the future of those monuments in a closed session on Tuesday and was set to take up the issue again Wednesday, but that business was supposedly pushed back to an unknown date.

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