So as to appease the sensitivities of the never-oppressed-but-easily-offended, last weekend Charlottesville, Va., removed statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. The merits or infamy of the Confederacy have been squabbled to the point that historical markers are now offensive. I don’t particularly agree with that sentiment — seems life is tough enough without being offended by an inanimate statue with bird excrement on it.
As with most things liberal, their removal just wasn’t enough. While at it, they also displaced statues of George Rogers Clark and another of Lewis and Clark, none of which had anything to do with the Civil War and everything to do with settling an America still the envy of the world.
George Clark’s statue was erected on the University of Virginia campus in 1921. He was an American general, known as the Conqueror of the Northwest. He died in 1818, 43 years before Abner Doubleday, of baseball lore, lobbed the first shot from Fort Sumter, the official start of the Civil War.
Brigadier General Clark was the highest-ranking officer on the northwest frontier during the Revolutionary War. Clark recruited his own soldiers and used his own funds to finance campaigns. He led an army in the captures of Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vincennes during the Illinois Campaign. This led to the British surrendering the Northwest Territory in the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The state of Virginia never fully reimbursed Clark for his wartime expenditures, although they did claim the Northwest by calling it Illinois County, Virginia.
In addition to the “despicable” statue in Virginia, there are numerous statues of Clark in the states of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Additionally, counties, cities, schools, streets, a historic trail, a bridge, and a Liberty ship were all named in General Clark’s honor. Without his efforts, we might all be speaking with a funny accent. He died broken and destitute.
While at it, Charlottesville also removed a statue of George Clark’s younger brother William Clark, of Lewis and Clark fame. This statue of the two men displayed a likeness of an Indian woman named Sacagawea.
Captain Lewis and Lt. Clark led an army expedition into the Louisiana Purchase territory between 1803 and 1806. Their directive from President Jefferson was to locate a route west, map the country, and create an American presence in the new territory. Additionally, they were to study the plants, animals, and geography of the area in their spare time.
Along the way, they met a French-Canadian fur trapper by the name of Toussaint Charbonneau and his Shoshone Indian wife, Sacagawea. They became important to Lewis and Clark as interpreters. Sacagawea gave birth while on the expedition.
Merriweather Lewis became the second governor of Upper Louisiana in 1806. He died of a gunshot wound of suspicious nature in 1809, 61 years before the Civil War. Mr. Lewis’ name has been bestowed many national honors, including one nuclear submarine.
William Clark married twice after the expedition, had eight children, as well as being the guardian to Sacagawea’s son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. Clark died in 1838, 23 years before the Civil War at the age of 68. Like his brother and exploration partner, has a myriad of honors in his name.
The statues were removed in Charlottesville at the behest of the University’s racial equity task force. These task forces are now the rage at all institutions of “higher learning.” The removals stemmed primarily from the whining of a UVA graduate and Crow Creek — Sioux tribal member, in 2009. He absurdly called their removal “an exorcism of state violence against Native Americans.” Note to the state of Virginia — I have a place for that statue.
Sacagawea was Shoshone — not Crow or Sioux. She thought so much of William Clark, she made him guardian to her son. The crime supposedly committed against Sacagawea was that she was in a crouching position on the statue of Lewis and Clark looking west toward the Pacific Ocean. The whiny activist apparently thought this was unbecoming for her so the liberals of Virginia appeased him, regardless of what we might think. With this logic, one has to wonder if the crimes of the men in the statues was merely that they were white.
While Robert E. Lee imprudently chose the wrong side in the Civil War, if one reviews his record, he was one of America’s greatest military minds and immeasurably instrumental in the forging of this country. People like him, as well as the others enshrined in those statues were, and are, still great Americans, regardless of what spineless liberal “scholars,” delusional politicians and corrupt journalists pretend.
We Americans should be grateful people like Lee and Lewis, as well as the Clark brothers, were here in this country when it mattered … as compared to what we now have.