DC Del. Norton Introduces Bill to Remove Statue Honoring Free Mason, Confederate General

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton promised to propose legislation in Congress that would allow for the removal of a D.C. statue honoring a member of the Free Masons who was also a Confederate General.

The statue is the only one in D.C. (outside of Capitol Hill) honoring someone associated with the Confederacy, Washington Post columnist John Kelly told News4.

It recieved attention from protesters recently, who gathered around the statue in August and said it was racist and supported slavery. A demonstrator splattered the statue with red paint.

Plans for the statue won Congressional approval over a century ago, and it was erected by Scottish Rite Free Masons in 1901 to mark Pike's 32 years of leadership of its southern jurisdiction.

The statue, which is near the D.C. police headquarters at 3rd and D streets NW, honors Albert Pike as an author, poet and philanthropist.

One panel at the base of the statue mentions Pike's role as brigadier general of the Confederate Army during the Civil War, WTOP reports.

The statue stands on National Park Service land, which means another act of Congress will be required for it to be removed.

Despite Pike’s many roles in history, Del. Norton says the removal of the statue is about his time in the Confederacy.

"I do not believe that any part of American history should be erased," Del. Norton said. "Not slavery, not the Civil War. And this is what this statue is about."

Del. Norton says she met with representatives of the Masons Thursday, who said they would not try to block her legislation.

It has not yet been decided where the statue would go.

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