As Northampton County mulls the future of its Confederate Monument on the Historic Courthouse Green in Eastville, a number of Virginia localities left the decision over their historic Confederate Monuments to voters in Tuesday’s elections, and all of the monuments in question will remain standing and in their current place.
One of the first bills passed by the Democrat controlled Virginia General Assembly was to remove historic protection of Confederate monuments, leaving the decision to keep or remove them to the localities. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam called for all of Virginia’s Confederate monuments to be removed while campaigning in 2017, and doubled down on those efforts after his political career almost ended following a blackface scandal in his medical school yearbook picture.
Charles City, Franklin, Halifax, Lunenberg, Tazewell and Warren County all conducted referendums Tuesday, and all came back with the same answer: leave the historical monuments alone and in place.
Charles City’s referendum to remove their monument fell 55% to 44%, the closest vote of all. Charles City voted in favor of Joe Biden 59% – 39%, for Mark Warner 61% – 38% and for Democrat Congressman Donald McEachin 60% – 39%.
Four of the Counties voted to leave their monuments alone in landslides. Franklin voted 70% – 29% against relocating their historic courthouse monument, Lunenberg voted to keep theirs in place 71% – 28%, Tazewell 81% – 12% against relocating, and Warren 76% – 23% against relocating.
Halifax’s County’s vote was closer, but the citizens still voted 59% – 40% against relocating.
Opponents of the monuments say they are outdated reminders of the state’s ties to slavery. Other support the monuments as historically relevant.
Former Supervisor Dr. Art Carter suggested the idea to add a Union Soldier in the likeness of an African-American to the courthouse green, to both tell a fuller story of Northampton’s history and ‘show the world that we have a better way.’
Northampton Board of Supervisors Chairman Oliver Bennett promised the discussion over Northampton’s monument would continue at their November meeting.