Maryland Removes Second Taney Statue Overnight

Posted August 19, 2017

Maryland authorities have taken down a statue of a 19th century chief justice who wrote an infamous pro-slavery decision, the latest example of action across the United States over memorials that have triggered racially charged protests.

The decision has led Taney to be linked to leaders of the Confederacy. His statue stands in Annapolis outside the State House.

The vote took place via email on Wednesday, and came after Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh removed four Confederate-related statues in Baltimore overnight Tuesday.

Annapolis joins a growing list of cities that have moved quickly to take down monuments linked to the Confederacy following last weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Va., which left one woman dead after vehicle plowed into a crowd. Taney had written the 1857 decision in Dred Scott v Sandford which defended slavery. Less than an hour away from the state house's Annapolis location, another Roger B. Taney statue was removed in Baltimore just days before.

The Baltimore monuments were stored under tarps in a city lot under police protection.

Trump on Thursday decried the removal of Confederate monuments, drawing stinging rebukes from fellow Republicans in a controversy that has inflamed racial tensions nationwide. About 1:20 a.m., sprinklers turned on, dousing onlookers and workers until the water was shut off about 15 minutes later. Some witnesses cheered as the statue was lifted from its pedestal. There's an irony, however, in Taney statues coming down during a national debate on the merits of Confederate monuments: Taney wasn't a Confederate soldier at all.

"It was a lovely thing to wake up and see something so handsome happened when I was asleep", Gwen Norman of Baltimore told the Sun.

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Meanwhile, Democratic state Rep. Anne Arundel of Maryland backed Hogan's decision, stating "One hundred and fifty two years after the end of the Civil War, we don't need a symbol on the front of the Maryland State House that continues to divide people".

"This was certainly a matter of such outcome that the transparency of a public meeting and public conversation should have occurred", Miller wrote in a letter to Hogan, as the Associated Press reports.

Busch, an Anne Arundel County Democrat, called for the statue's removal Monday.

A panel voted by email Wednesday to remove the statue, which was erected in 1872.

This was certainly a matter of such outcome that the transparency of a public meeting and public conversation should have occurred.

He became the first Catholic to have served in a USA president's cabinet when he was appointed Attorney General by Andrew Jackson in 1831. Miller said Taney's "complex history" is often lost amid discussion. Gov. Larry Hogan said this week that removing the statue was "the right thing to do". He reversed course this week, saying removing the monument was "the right thing to do". Edson has not weighed in on the matter, but a spokeswoman for the Maryland Historical Trust, Elaine Bachmann, told the newspaper that there is no precedent for a statue being removed from the state house. The decision to uproot the statue was prompted by the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Another confederate statue in Maryland is on its way out.