Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Confederate Statues Gone for Good

Posted By on Tue, Dec 17, 2019 at 2:07 PM

click to enlarge Crowds gathered in Health Sciences Park to support the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue.
  • Crowds gathered in Health Sciences Park to support the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue.

Confederate statues removed from Memphis parks in 2017 have now been removed from Memphis and Shelby county, never to return.

The statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest, James T. Mathis, and Jefferson Davis were removed from parks here in late 2017. That removal came after Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland struck a deal to sell the parks and the statues to Greenspace, a then newly created nonprofit parks organization headed up by Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner. The Memphis City Council approved the deal and the statues came down just a few hours later.

At the time, all parties made an agreement with then-Governor Bill Haslam that the statues would be preserved and relocated.

click to enlarge Minutes before Nathan Bedford Forrest's statue was removed from Health Sciences Park
  • Minutes before Nathan Bedford Forrest's statue was removed from Health Sciences Park

The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) filed suit against the removal but it was struck down last year. The group appealed the decision, but the Supreme Court of Tennessee denied the appeal earlier this year.

On Tuesday, Bruce McMullen, the city’s chief legal officer, said the statues are now permanently gone.

“In accordance with that promise [to Haslam] and the agreement between Greenspace, SCV, and the Forrest family descendants, the statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest, James T. Mathis, and Jefferson Davis have been permanently removed from Memphis and Shelby County,” McMullen said in a statement. “They have been released to the custody of the descendants and/or SCV to display them as they wish.”

The remains of Forrest and his wife remain entombed inside the base of the now-removed equestrian statue at Health Sciences Park.

Tags: , ,

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Readers also liked…

Most Commented On

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2020

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation