WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Proponents of removing Confederate statues from Wilmington got support this week from a non-profit group tasked with preserving local history in southeastern North Carolina.
Historic Wilmington Foundation released the following statement this week.
“Historic Wilmington Foundation (HWF) supports the lawful and safe removal of the George Davis monument at Third and Market as well as the Wilmington Confederate monument at Third and Dock. These artworks do not represent the values of the City of Wilmington or this organization. It is HWF’s hope that the monuments will be relocated to a location where they may be preserved, interpreted, contextualized, and used expressly for educational purposes, rather than to continue to serve as visual public reminders of racial injustice,” Beth Rutledge, the Executive Director of HWF said in an emailed statement.
There has been a movement to remove these historic pieces in recent years. In the summer of 2019, protesters rallied in support of removing the George Davis statue in particular on Third and Market. Davis was the 4th Attorney General of the Confederate states. His statue has stood in downtown since the early 20th century. In November 2019, Davis’ great grandson expressed the hope the statue would remain downtown.
While North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has thrown his support behind removing confederate monuments, there has been a state law since 2015 prohibiting this action.