Fenves: Davis Statue to the Briscoe

UT Pres decides to move a Confederate statue, but allows others to stay

Robert E. Lee isn't going anywhere.
Robert E. Lee isn't going anywhere. (Photo by Jana Birchum)

UT President Gregory Fenves announced his decision regarding UT's Confederate monuments today (Aug. 13) – while Confederate President Jefferson Davis will be moved to the Briscoe Center for American History, and the statue of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson will be relocated, four other controversial statues will get to remain where they are.

A UT task force had offered five options in a report released Monday, Aug. 10, ranging from moving none of the statues to moving all of them. In the letter explaining his decision, Fenves wrote, "The other four figures of the Littlefield Memorial will remain in place. James Stephen Hogg, Albert Sidney Johnston, and John Reagan had deep ties to Texas. Robert E. Lee’s complicated legacy to Texas and the nation should not be reduced to his role in the Civil War. Their history will be described in the Briscoe Center. I will consider placing a plaque near the Littlefield Fountain to provide context. This combination of locating the Jefferson Davis statue in a center devoted to history and keeping the remaining statues along the Main Mall is both respectful of the heritage that is important to many and serves as a poignant display of our nation’s and university’s history."

It's a decision that's likely to leave both sides unhappy – those who want no statues honoring Confederates, and those who cling to the idea that the Confederacy is a part of Texas "heritage." Look for more on the reaction to Fenves' decision in next week's issue of the Chronicle.

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