Wednesday, May 31, 2017

“Contextualizing” History


Statement about the “slavery the sole cause of the war” plaque affixed to the Confederate soldier monument in Gainesville, Florida.

I have been asked to comment on the recent fad of “contextualizing” historic monuments as it relates to the Confederate soldiers’ memorial at Gainesville.

What I have seen of the proposed plaque amounts, it seems to me, to an attempt to revise history and to establish an official version of history.

An historical monument should be taken for what it is. Opinions may differ about it, but it is a piece of history in itself. The Confederate soldiers’ monument was erected by people who wanted to remember their kin and neighbors who had fought and died opposing what was a quite vicious and destructive invasion. A third of the Florida men opposing invasion died—a fact that was of heavy significance to the people who erected the monument. The cost of the monument in 1904 was no doubt a considerable sacrifice to people still living in poverty brought on by the war.


  1. The right answer is, "build your own damned monument, with your own money, and put anything you like on it".

    1. & quit stealing monuments that the dead paid for.