Gov. Charlie Baker supports removing the only Confederate memorial in Massachusetts, a marker on Boston Harbor’s Georges Island that commemorates Southern soldiers imprisoned in Fort Warren there during the Civil War.
The modest stone marker, which calls the conflict “the War Between the States,” went up only in 1963—nearly a century after the Confederacy’s surrender and only through the efforts of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, a group not unsympathetic to the war’s cause: slavery.
Now, due to a larger debate about the appropriateness of some Boston-area memorials and monuments (and to the removal of Confederate statuary in New Orleans), the Georges Island marker is receiving renewed attention.
WGBH’s Adam Reilly reached out to Gov. Charlie Baker’s office to see what he thought (the state Department of Conservation and Recreation owns Georges Island). Here’s what a spokeswoman had to say:
“Gov. Baker believes we should refrain from the display of symbols, especially in our public parks, that do not support liberty and equality for the people of Massachusetts. Since this monument is located on a National Historic Landmark, the governor supports [DCR] working with the Massachusetts Historical Commission to explore relocation options."
Massachusetts was, of course, a hotbed of abolition before and during the Civil War, and dispatched dozens of regiments to fight the Confederacy.
- Does A Confederate Memorial Belong In Boston Harbor? [WGBH]
- Boston statues: Are there ones that should be toppled? [Curbed Boston]
- Boston abolitionist sites: Mapping the region's role in the anti-slavery movement [Curbed Boston]
- Mapping the Civil War in the Hub 150 Years After Its End [Curbed Boston]