Museum calls for removal of Confederate memorial from Capitol Hill cemetery

The NW Museum of Legends and Lore will never completely leave Capitol Hill, it seems. Fresh off rejection by the City of Seattle for its permit for the annual Broadway Pride street festival,  the museum’s directors are leading the charge targeting, of all things, the United Confederate Veterans Memorial in Capitol Hill’s Lake View Cemetery.

Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson say they will be there Monday when a group including a former president of the United Daughters of the Confederacy will call on the Seattle City Council to have the 92-year-old memorial removed from the 15th Ave E cemetery.

“The NW Museum of Legends and Lore has been requesting the monuments removal for the last two years,” the announcement reads. “We feel this will be a positive step forward for the generations who fought for unity, the current generation and future generations.”

The memorial was vandalized in the summer of 2015 (Image: CHS)

Though the museum might seem a strange messenger for the cause, it might be one worth fighting for.

The memorial hewn from a “10-ton” block of “Stone Mountain, Georgia” rock was created by the Seattle chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy reportedly with money raised at “Dixie Day” during the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Expo. The group included the actual daughters and wives of Confederate soldiers living in Seattle but the placement came during a wave of historical revisionism and romanticizing of the Confederate South — a wave some would say continues to ripple today.

The museum claims that despite the memorial’s presence in the private cemetery operated by a nonprofit association, the city has the right to require its removal.

“We encourage the Seattle City Council to acknowledge the monument is in a publicly visible location and therefore should fall under current ordinances to remove offensive markings visible to the public,” the group writes. “We also encourage Lakeview Cemetery to acknowledge the monument may fall outside their own policy of headstones as it is predominantly a political party monument.”

In 2005, parts of the bronze work including an insignia, cross of honor, crossed bayonets, and a bronze plaque of Robert E. Lee’s head were stripped and stolen but have since been restored.  In the summer of 2015, the memorial was targeted — again — by vandals in the wake of a shooting at a Black church shooting in Charleston that left nine dead. This summer, Mayor Ed Murray said the Lake View monument should be removed.

Removal is not quite enough for the NW Museum of Legends and Lore. The group says it also calling on City Hall to “possibly develop a more respective non-political memorial to the veterans” and to “return in a symbolic gesture the granite back to Stone Mt. Georgia – the recognized home of the resurgence of the KKK.”


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30 thoughts on “Museum calls for removal of Confederate memorial from Capitol Hill cemetery

  1. A repugnant memorial to a terrorist action! I agree it should come down. However lets have its removal charge be led by someone with credence in the city of Seattle and not some people from the Museum of the Mysteries! Go away!

  2. I’m glad to hear they’ve given up their fight against the $15 minimum wage. Mainly because this memorial needs to come down, but also because I never want to see posters for a Wizard of Oz themed anti worker event. I would however pay to see a Wizard of Oz themed anti confederate event. As long as the house falls on the memorial.

  3. I don’t think that this memorial in any way is honoring the confederacy, slavery, or white supremacy. It’s simply honoring the southern men who died during the Civil War, most of whom were not slave-owners. What’s wrong with that?

    This is just yet-another effort for Charlette LeFevre to grandstand.

    • Nah. It’s a memorial with the word confederacy on it, with crossed sabers, and the name of the confederate General.

      It’s all about slavery and white supremacy for which they fought. Also, those men honored by this monument all committed treason against the US government.

      Also, they lost the War.

      Remove and destroy.

    • Private property. Obnoxious memorial, but private property.
      Private non-profit, not Seattle taxpayer supported.
      If the city doesn’t like your house color, should they have the power to force you to repaint it? Are they paying your bills?

      Hey, I literally detest the South, lived there way too many years and it’s a good part of why I live in Seattle now. But this is their business. If you don’t like the memorial to this detestable war and all the repulsive institutions like slavery it fought for, don’t make the special trip out of your way to go see it.

    • It’ll keep on getting vandalized too. Why waste the expense of repeatedly fixing it.

      If you want to honor a dead guy put his name on a stone and leave out the confederacy crap.

    • Calling out somebody for being white isn’t a trump card (pardon the expression) that automatically wins all arguments for you. Try harder.

    • Lets just state for the record…the war was not about Race. The war was not about slavery. The congress of the USA passed a resolution stating that the war was not about slavery. They also admitted a slave state after the war. Please reconsider your position on the matter. People of confederate heritage exist and are not going anywhere. They have the right to have heros just like anyone else.

  4. Lots of war graves in Germany after ww2. They must be full of Nazis !? Remove them all. Isn’t this the same logic ?

    • I don’t actually see a confederate flag in the above – and to be honest, any half intelligent person would read the inscription and get the context. As they would with any other war grave. I’m still left wondering what is left after you are done erasing history ?

    • But it’s not a war grave. The war ended in 1865.

      This is a memorial erected in 1926.

      We can learn the history of the Civil War without honoring the confederacy.

      You see the words confederacy and the name robert e. lee on the memorial, don’t you? Lee’s not buried there.

    • In the 1920’s many folks who fought in the war wanted to commemorate the war’s 50th anniversary. There was no money to do so in the 1910s (war) and 1930s (depression).

  5. My ancestors were Confederates, the worst kind in fact: no-shit, landed gentry slave owners. No doubt, some (if not all of them) did some evil things and the cause they fought for deserved to land right where it landed in the dustbin of history.

    That said, I personally have to find some place for them in my personal family history, because I can’t change what they did. I can erase part of the family tree, but it will always be there.

    I think we as a nation have to find some place for Confederate veterans in our national history. They are and always were Americans, even if they didn’t want to be. When Lee surrendered, Grant stopped his troops from cheering: “The war is over — the rebels are our countrymen again.”

    I wish that we could find, somehow, a way for the truth about the Civil War and racism in America to be addressed without the process being immediately overwhelmed by anger and blame. I don’t blame anyone, especially black Americans, for being angry. But we have to find some way to address the wrongs that were done, to have a conversation about it while remembering that we’re all countrymen here. Or else I fear that we’ll Balkanize along racial, political, and regional lines once again, and all the sacrifices made by the Civil War generation will be for naught.

    • But you can honor a dead family member without also honoring the confederacy.

      This particular monument was erected in 1926, long after the civil war.

      I hear you about the family history, mine includes confederates too.

      For example, I honor the memory of my grandfather but I would never memorialize the fact that he served as a prison guard at Japanese internment camps.

    • You have been taught wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with your family back then. The Confederates were an honorable bunch. Any reasoning you have to say otherwise I can explain. You are basing your opinion on a hollywood sensationalist version of the history of our country. The confederates were Americans and deserve to be honored.

  6. It’s funny that In places like Seattle, (shi*holes of America) things like this are happening. But I’m the south, where it’s relevent, it’s being turned down. You bitch and moan that you want them moved to cemeteries and then bitch an moan that the cemeteries aren’t good enough either. News flash….if you’re white….you’re ancestors most likely didn’t like black people. EVEN IF THEY WERE FROM THE NORTH. Read a book. Slavery started in the north. Places like Maryland and Pennsylvania were mere votes away from being slave states. And you’re so fuc***** stupid, that you have monuments of Washington and Jefferson, who openly owned slaves, and Lincoln, and hated Indians. But it’s the confederates you want to single out. You’re pathetic tree hugging shits.

    • If you’ve never graced the area with your presence, you can visit a cemetery for The Grand Army of the Republic a few hundred yards away and to my knowledge it’s never been vandalized. Get over your loss turd! I do recall that confederate monuments are being removed in the South too but maybe not in the sh*thole parts like where you live.

    • Like it or hate, right or not right, offensive or not offensive… really none of it matters.

      The cemetery is private property. They have the first amendment right to keep that memorial if they wish.

      Unless you desire to curtail the first amendment, you need to accept that you will not like everything that everyone has to say – but remember also they they do not necessarily like everything you have to say and you never know when and where to the balance of power will shift. If you don’t want to risk your own speech it is necessary to tolerate what others say, even when you do not agree.

    • The monuments in the South that are being removed are in public spaces maintained by taxpayers. It’s offensive that taxes would be use for upkeep of tributes to the Confederacy. That’s not happening here. As CD.N said, you may not like it, but it’s the cemetery’s 1st Amendment right to have it there on their own private property. I really don’t want the gvt telling me what I can do on my own private property as long as it’s not causing injury to anyone or inciting a riot or disturbing the peace. I’d bet 90% (or more) of the people calling for this to be torn down have never been within 100ft of it. You’d have to make a big effort to go be offended.

  7. Lets just set the fact straight here…they were not traitors. They did not commit treason. Confederates and Nazis have absolutely nothing to do with each other (at all). The War was about money…not slavery. Regardless, there were plenty of folks on both sides of that war of every race. It was not a race war. It was Americans fighting Americans….650 THOUSAND died. Have some decency and leave the dead to rest in peace…for very soon…so will you!

  8. The south went through several years of reconstruction and it wasn’t till after then that money could be raised for memorials. Why is it that people say to move the monuments to a cemetery or museum and they still aren’t satisfied. This monument isn’t bothering anyone. It has been there for over 80 years and some snowflakes are all of a sudden offended. Get a life!

  9. Instead of hating people who are dead & buried, why don’t they do something that is actually beneficial to society. Destroying historical monuments & headstones only shows their hate & ignorance. You cannot judge history through a modern lens of today’s standards of what is right or wrong. History is what it is. It cannot be changed. You can only learn from history & not repeat the things that were wrong. These people need to get an education of true history. If you don’t like something don’t look at it. Just because you don’t like it does not mean it should come down. Your wants, dislikes, & rights do not superceed anyone else’s. Just because you protest, march, & scream the loudest does not make you right.