The Freedmen’s Memorial to Lincoln: A Postscript to Stone Monuments and Flexible Laws
7 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2020
Date Written: August 21, 2020
In a recent essay in the Florida Law Review Online, I argued that historic preservation law poses no significant barrier to removal of Confederate monuments and even provides a useful process within which a community can study and debate the fate of specific statues. The cultural and legal issues surrounding the removal of Confederate monuments are presented in a surprising and paradoxical form in the controversy surrounding the 1876 Freedmen’s Memorial to Abraham Lincoln. Addressing these issues provides an interesting postscript to the seemingly easier questions raised by the removal of monuments to the Lost Cause. I argue that Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act provides a useful process for understanding and discussion, and should not be short-circuited by federal legislation.
Keywords: Preservation, Monuments, Douglass
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