Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) reintroduced legislation on Friday to permanently remove the statue of Confederate General Albert Pike from federal land near Judiciary Square in the District.
“This statue was authorized, not by the District, but by Congress in 1898, when the District had no home rule,” Norton said in her introductory statement.
“The statue was constructed using both federal and private funds. The Freemasons, of which Pike was a member, donated the majority of the money needed to build and install the statue in 1901. I oppose destroying Confederate statues, because I believe they should be moved to more appropriate settings, like museums, to avoid erasing an important part of history from which Americans must continue to learn,” she added.
Norton describes Pike as “a Confederate general who served dishonorably and was forced to resign in disgrace.”
The bill also stipulates authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to donate the statue to a museum or another institution.
Pike, a Confederate general who served dishonorably and was forced to resign in disgrace, represents the worst of the Confederacy. https://t.co/KPcOeRzuXU
— Eleanor #DCStatehood Holmes Norton (@EleanorNorton) February 19, 2021
Norton originally introduced the measure in 2019. This is the second bill introduced by the DC delegate as part of her Black History Month series. Her first proposal on February 18 aims at removing the Emancipation Statue — another racially insensitive figure in the city — from Lincoln Park.
If the bill is passed, the Emancipation Statue would be transported to a museum and displayed with an explanation of its origin and meaning.
Pike was charged with treason by Confederate leaders and the US government after he deserted his troops in a battle.