Removed Confederate Monument Sets a Milestone in Maryland

It's heading to a battlefield in Virginia

Talbot County Courthouse
Talbot County Courthouse, over a century ago.

The present decade has seen an uptick in the removal of monuments to the Confederacy. There have been countless reasons for this, ranging from skepticism over the “Lost Cause” movement to a growing conviction that statues of people who defended slavery are, to say the least, morally disquieting. The 2020 announcement that a statue of civil rights activist Barbara Johns would replace one of Robert E. Lee in Washington, D.C. is emblematic of the large-scale shift happening nationwide.

Now, Maryland is having its own landmark moment when it comes to statues related to the Confederacy. The Associated Press reports that the last Confederate statue has been removed from a public space within the state.

The monument is known as the “Talbot Boys Statue,” and — until recently — stood outside a courthouse in Talbot County. According to the article, several motorists passing the scene uttered a single word that summed up a widely held opinion: “Finally!”

The statue is headed to the Cross Keys Battlefield. The Move the Monument Coalition raised $80,000 to do so, the Associated Press reports. The Coalition’s website makes a convincing case for why. Among their arguments? “This monument does not belong on a public site of justice and equality,” and “Talbot County is better than this. Talbot County is proud to be a desirable county for everyone.”

Both arguments resonate deeply. But while Maryland’s public spaces are now free of Confederate monuments, the nation as a whole still has a long way to go — the Associated Press cites a statistic indicating that around 700 Confederate statues remain near government buildings and public spaces around the country.

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