Acknowledging the Past

“If I got rid of my demons, I’d lose my angels.” 

Tennessee Williams

Columbus, MS native

In the early 1900s, states were enacting Jim Crow laws to disenfranchise black Americans. Towards the middle of the century, the civil rights movement counteracted that segregation. Mississippi gave its two statues to National Statuary Hall in 1931.

 

James Grossman, Executive Director of the American Historical Association, says that the increase in Confederate statues and monuments was clearly meant to send a message...

"These statues were meant to create legitimate garb for white supremacy," Grossman said, "Why would you put a statue of Robert E. Lee or Stonewall Jackson in 1948 in Baltimore?"

Meet The Current Representatives

Jefferson Davis

Former President of the Confederate States of America 

Born in Kentucky in 1808, Jefferson Finis Davis grew to become a famed American politician. Prior to his Presidency in the Confederacy, he served in many prominent positions such as Mississippi House Representative, Mississippi Senator for two nonconsecutive terms, and the United States Secretary of War. When Mississippi seceded, he was elected the President of the Confederate States. When the Confederacy surrendered, Davis was arrested on charges of treason. After years of unsuccessful excursions, he settled in Biloxi, Mississippi and wrote Rise and Fall of the Confederated States. Davis died on December 6, 1889, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

James Zachariah George

Confederate Colonel

Commonly referred to as the "Great Commoner", James Zachariah George was born in Georgia in 1826. After serving as a private in the Mexican War under Jefferson Davis, he returned to Mississippi to study law. George was quite popular and greatly respected among white Mississippians because of his effective defense of white supremacy during the Reconstruction era. He was instrumental in Mississippi’s Constitution by authoring the disfranchisement provisions that largely sought to bar black voters and convicted felons. After the war, he was appointed chief justice to the Mississippi Supreme Court in 1879. From 1880 to his death, George served in the United States Senate. On August 14, 1897, George died in Mississippi City, Mississippi.

 

 

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