Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Defaced Confederate Memorial is Part of our History
Seattle Post-Intelligencer ^ | 21 February 2005 | Susan Paynter

Posted on 02/21/2005 8:18:34 AM PST by Publius

We talk a lot in this town about diversity and embracing differences.

On Presidents Day, before dashing for holiday markdowns at the mall, we may even rest a beat to reflect on our history.

But if the story of your particular diversity is told in Southern accents -- especially if it dares breathe a word about historic roots stretching back to the Confederacy -- you're more apt to get a slug than a hug.

Marjorie Reeves knows that from personal, painful experience.

The Alabama transplant wasn't all that "Southern," she says, before moving to Seattle in 1998. But the minute she opened her mouth, releasing a soft, subtle Southern cadence, the response was like a slap in the face.

Soon after she arrived, a man on the street asked for directions. Politely she explained she was new in town (Reeves is a woman who always says ma'am and sir). Instantly and obscenely, the man cussed her out.

More times than she'd care to remember, she's been called a "foreigner" and asked, "What country are you from, anyway?"

So, while it was sickening, it didn't come as a complete shock when Reeves got a call a week ago from Lakeview Cemetery near Volunteer Park telling her that the 80-year-old Confederate Memorial on the site -- the one commemorating Washington state's Confederate veterans and their wives -- had been hack-sawed and vandalized, its bronze art pieces carted away.

The reason the cemetery manager called her is that Reeves is president of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Robert E. Lee Chapter 885, Seattle, Washington.

Those roots weren't really an interest of hers until after her move to Washington put her on the defensive. Soon she'd traced her ties back to great-great-grandfather James William Reeves. As a 15-year-old orphan he had joined the 65th K Company in Alabama only to be captured and sent to a prison camp near Chicago.

He spent the rest of his life in and out of mental institutions as a result.

Her great-great-grandfather on her mother's side, Harrison Milliner, was drafted into the militia in 1864.

It must have taken considerable effort and planning to deface the memorial honoring the Washington confederates of Reeve's forebears. The cross of honor at its top was 14 feet from the ground, so someone brought a ladder. The disk of Robert E. Lee's head with crossed rifles was sunk deeply into granite from Stone Mountain, Ga., which arrived here by steamship through the Panama Canal. So was the bronze flag of the Confederacy. No, not the controversial stars and bars battle flag. So someone must have brought tools.

Whatever work it took to destroy was nothing compared with the work and care required to build it.

The first money for the burial plot and memorial was raised at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition here in 1910. In 1911, the plot was bought. In 1922, members donated money for the monument. And on April 11, 1926, as the Temple Chorus sang, Seattle and Tacoma mayors and other dignitaries, including Scott Bullitt of the pioneer Bullitt family and American Legion vets, were on hand to speechify and salute.

They were there to honor bravery. To note the reality of the scar that split this nation, and to celebrate what Seattle Mayor Edwin J. Brown called an event that "cemented America forever."

The attack on the monument was not the first time that cement -- or stone -- has been reviled or removed.

In 2002, a state representative mounted a campaign to remove a small 63-year-old marker in Blaine designating Highway 99 as the Jefferson Davis Highway, calling the first and only president of the Confederacy "a traitor." The matching marker at the other end of the highway in Vancouver, Wash., has been hidden in a shed ever since.

Reeves repeatedly traveled to Vancouver to get the marker reseated, only to be called names, ignored by officials and insulted by members of the media.

Now this.

"To me, it's about local history," Reeves told me. "It's about the people -- some of them from the South -- who lived and died here and helped to build this state."

She's praying that someone will help return the bronze artwork. It isn't worth much of anything on the open market. But it's worth more than its weight as a tribute to a part of our complex diversity that she believes it is high time we get our arms around.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: confederacy; dixie; dixielist; seattle; themostcorruptstate; treason; udc
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-50 next last

1 posted on 02/21/2005 8:18:35 AM PST by Publius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Publius

Only in Seattle....


2 posted on 02/21/2005 8:25:15 AM PST by chemicalman (Finally an answer for the prisoner problem at Abu Ghraib: Don't take any.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: stainlessbanner


3 posted on 02/21/2005 8:25:40 AM PST by Libertarianize the GOP (Make all taxes truly voluntary)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: chemicalman

I too was horrified by what I read. This place is so mellow that I couldn't conceive of people getting their shorts in a wad over something like this.


4 posted on 02/21/2005 8:26:16 AM PST by Publius (The people of a democracy choose the government they want, and they ought to get it good and hard.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Publius
The Alabama transplant wasn't all that "Southern," she says, before moving to Seattle in 1998. But the minute she opened her mouth, releasing a soft, subtle Southern cadence, the response was like a slap in the face.

Soon after she arrived, a man on the street asked for directions. Politely she explained she was new in town (Reeves is a woman who always says ma'am and sir). Instantly and obscenely, the man cussed her out.

More times than she'd care to remember, she's been called a "foreigner" and asked, "What country are you from, anyway?"

Great to see how enlightened and tolerant liberal Seattle is. /sarcasm

5 posted on 02/21/2005 8:27:43 AM PST by Corporate Law (<>< -- Xavier Basketball - Perennial Slayer of #1 Ranked Teams)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Publius

Tolerant, peace-loving "liberals" strike again.


6 posted on 02/21/2005 8:28:21 AM PST by Disambiguator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Publius

That is enough to make me sick.... What a complete and total disgrace of a person to do such a thing.

Probably an open minded liberal...
What a Travesty.


7 posted on 02/21/2005 8:29:27 AM PST by CitadelArmyJag ("Tolerance is the virtue of the man with no convictions" G. K. Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Publius
Religion of Peace

Party of Diversity

I'll respect you in the morning.

The check is in the mail.......

8 posted on 02/21/2005 8:30:52 AM PST by Red Badger (I call her GODZILLARY because she went to NYC and made her nest there, too.........)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Publius

The sad part is the people who did this are probably completely ignorant about the Civil War.


9 posted on 02/21/2005 8:31:12 AM PST by mainepatsfan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Publius

I'm from Georgia. I was stationed as an Army recruiter up in Washington state. Lots of the "tolerant" folk there didn't like the fact that I was in the Army. Others asked me what country I was from as well. When I told one I was from Georgia, a state before Washington was even a territory, I was accused of being a racist. Ah, the "tolerance."


10 posted on 02/21/2005 8:35:22 AM PST by joedelta (Those who long for peace must prepare for war)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wardaddy; stainlessbanner

ping.


11 posted on 02/21/2005 8:37:30 AM PST by bourbon (You see me here, and yet I am already changed, already elsewhere.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Disambiguator

Liberals are the most intolerant people I know. My brother is a liberal and he acts like a Nazi when it comes to views that are different from the twisted leftist dogma he learned in college. God, Christians, Jews, conservatives, southerners and smokers rank highest on his hate list. I pray often for his deliverance.


12 posted on 02/21/2005 8:44:49 AM PST by AF68 (A political party that engages in vote fraud won't hesitate to steal all of your rights.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: bourbon

"When I told one I was from Georgia, a state before Washington was even a territory, I was accused of being a racist. Ah, the "tolerance.""

My Navy days in New England were similar. When asked where I was from, I would say, "Mississippi". The next question was almost always, "Are you a racist"?, flat out. Then there was the ever-common, "But you are so well spoken". As if I couldn't be from Mississippi because I spoke comprehensible English.


13 posted on 02/21/2005 8:47:42 AM PST by L98Fiero
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: DixieOklahoma; kalee; dljordan; Da Bilge Troll; nolu chan; sionnsar; Free Trapper; dcwusmc; ...

heritage*bump


14 posted on 02/21/2005 8:47:43 AM PST by stainlessbanner (Gather round y'all)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: stainlessbanner
returned!

free dixie,sw

15 posted on 02/21/2005 8:50:14 AM PST by stand watie (being a damnyankee is no better than being a racist. it is a LEARNED prejudice against dixie.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: chemicalman
Yeah, Seattle is oh so very tolerant.
16 posted on 02/21/2005 8:54:28 AM PST by sionnsar ( trad-anglican.faithweb.com || Iran Azadi ||)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: sionnsar

liberal/Seattle "tolerance" = admit I'm right or else you are racist scum


17 posted on 02/21/2005 9:04:54 AM PST by Fudd Fan ("...not bad. Not bad at all." -Ronald Reagan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Publius
I've seen this cemetery. It isn't far from the cemetery that contains Bruce Lee and his son Brandon. Lee's grave has all sorts of issues too. Several years ago some one stole a 750 lb headstone.

Uber-tolerant Seattle shows its true colors again. Bastards.
18 posted on 02/21/2005 9:06:02 AM PST by bigfootbob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fudd Fan; sionnsar

Seattle was where that military recruiter was mobbed and escorted out of the job fair.


19 posted on 02/21/2005 9:08:03 AM PST by stainlessbanner (Gather round y'all)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: AF68

Interesting you mention smokers. I do some occasional work at a local college in a very liberal city, and a lot of the students smoke. No-one is out there protesting the smoking...


20 posted on 02/21/2005 9:09:39 AM PST by Disambiguator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-50 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson