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January 27, 2022
The descendants of John C. Calhoun have filed a lawsuit against the city of Charleston over the removal of their ancestor’s monument. They are stating the removal violates the agreement made when the monument was given to the city.
According to Count on News 2, the statue was removed during the summer of 2020. Some state legislatures are backing the lawsuit and are threatening to withhold state funding as a result.
The statue was gifted to the city in the late 1890s, along with the conditions that were set to protect the statue and surrounding grounds. State Representative Lin Bennett and others say they agree with the lawsuit. “There are lots of people across the state unhappy with what has happened to this Calhoun statue. Now I know the mayor doesn’t like it, that’s fine. He doesn’t have to like it.”
Three plaintiffs filed the lawsuit, with two being descendents of Calhoun himself. Mickey Rosenblum, a Committee Member of the City of Charleston Commission on History, said, “you just can’t make him a wonderful person.” The city is now considering moving the statue to a museum in California, but state representatives refuse to let it leave Chicago.
Representative Bennett also said, “the family wants it back, the city has violated the trust with the family, who gave it to the city. Let the family decide.” However, the future of the statue is up in the air at this time. Similarly, other statues that were removed during the summer of 2020 have uncertain futures.
ARTICLE: JILLIAN WEIDNER
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CHARLESTON CITY PAPER