Days after the planned removal of a Confederate statue in Virginia prompted rallies, three deaths and a nationwide outcry, Pennsylvania’s governor’s office objected to the public placement of similar monuments in the Commonwealth.
“There should be no place in Pennsylvania that honors bigotry or hatred,” spokesman JJ Abbott said via email. “Historical markers should only serve as that and should not honor or memorialize Confederate soldiers or the Confederacy. Any such monument should be relocated to a museum or non-public space that provides the complete context of why so many Pennsylvanians died to defeat the Confederate army.”
Virginia — where three people died Saturday after opposing rallies in Charlottesville — is itself home to the highest concentration of publicly placed Confederacy symbols in the nation, some 220, per the Southern Poverty Law Center. (Richmond, an hour southeast of Charlottesville, was at one time the Confederacy’s capital city.)
Pennsylvania, meanwhile, claims just four Confederate monuments, markers or public symbols, according to the SPLC. This does not include those found at Gettysburg, which is home to both Confederate and Union memorials.
The number of monuments and memorials here is one of the lowest in the country, but ranks somewhere near the top for Union states, on par with those totals seen in New York, Iowa and Ohio, per SPLC data. As The Washington Post pointed out this week, roughly 1 in 12 U.S. Confederate memorials exist in Union states like Pennsylvania. (A list of both Union and Confederate monuments in Pennsylvania, as compiled by Slate, can be found here.)
Pennsylvania’s publicly supported Confederate monuments, per the SPLC, include the following:
- Lee Park Avenue; Wilkes-Barre/Hanover Township (though a local historian contradicts this conclusion)
- Confederate Soldiers Monument and Confederate Dead Marker; McConnellsburg, Fulton County
- Last Confederate Bivouac Marker; McConnellsburg
- Confederate Lane roadway; McConnellsburg
The Herald-Mail reports that McConnellsburg and Fulton County are “known as the location of the last Confederate presence north of the Mason-Dixon line, but also the site of the first Confederate deaths.” Those deaths are commemorated through the Confederate Soldiers Monument and Confederate Dead Marker erected in 1929 and 1948, respectively, by the Daughters of the Confederacy. The Last Confederate Bivouac Marker was erected by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1930. The Confederate Soldiers Monument was set to be rededicated in June 2014, The Herald-Mail adds.