Despite a grassroots effort led by an African-American to add to the courthouse green, the Northampton County Board of Supervisors voted to remove its historic Confederate monument at their Board meeting on Tuesday night, after standing in place for 108 years.
A local group led by former Supervisor Dr. Art Carter was spearheading a plan to put a second monument dedicated to the Eastern Shore’s Union soldiers on the north side of the existing monument. Carter spoke at the meeting and said the green was a museum setting, hosting several pieces of the County’s history, including a monument to Eastern Shore Indian Chief ‘Debedeavon,’ the 1731 courthouse, the old debtors prison, the 1899 courthouse and a monument to Tromaine Toy Jr. who died in Iraq. Carter argued the Confederate monument was a part of the County’s history that should be given a spot on the historic green, but along with the Union soldier monument, which was to have African American features, to tell the full story.
Oliver Bennett said he would not support Carter’s plan because it was a compromise that would glorify the inhumane treatment of African-Americans.
Supervisor John Coker agreed, opining that following the January 6 storming of the Capitol building, the Confederate monument needed to be removed immediately.
Board Chairman Dixon Leatherbury made a motion to give Carter’s group 60 days to come up with a concept drawing and plan for the Board to review, seconded by Mapp, which failed on a two to two vote, with Supervisor Dave Fauber absent.
Coker made the motion to remove the monument, which was seconded by Bennett, and passed on a 3-1 vote with Mapp also voting in favor.
The County will now solicit bids for the future home of the statue as well as bids for the price of removal.