Two plaques honoring Robert E. Lee in Brooklyn will be removed

Posted On Wed, August 16, 2017 By

Posted On Wed, August 16, 2017 By In Bay Ridge, History

General Lee Avenue and Robert E. Lee’s former home on Fort Hamilton, via Jeremy Bender/Business Insider

Following the tragic events in Charlottesville, Va. last weekend, officials announced Tuesday that two plaques honoring Gen. Robert E. Lee outside of a Brooklyn church would be taken down. The plaques, tacked to a maple tree, belonged to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Fort Hamilton, although the church has been closed since 2014. As Newsday reported, the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island owns the church and will sell it.


The tree that grows there now sits on the same spot where Lee planted a maple tree during his time as a military engineer at Fort Hamilton in the 1840s. In addition to Lee, several other military officials worshiped at St. John’s, but at a different building than what remains today. The state’s chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy installed the plaques on church grounds in 1912, 50 years after Lee led the Confederate army during the Civil War.

Bishop Lawrence Provenzano of Long Island’s Episcopal Diocese told Newsday: “People for whom the Civil War is such a critical moment–and particularly the descendants of former slaves–shouldn’t walk past what they believe is a church building and see a monument to a Confederate general.”

While it’s a victory for many who have pushed for the plaques’ removal over the years, Brooklyn’s Confederate history still remains visible. As 6sqft recently learned, the U.S. Army decided to keep the names of two streets that honor Confederate generals in Fort Hamilton. Despite a push from advocates and public officials, General Lee Avenue and Stonewall Jackson Drive will remain because Fort Hamilton, an active military base, is not affected by city laws.

Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke wrote to the Army in June asking for the names to be changed. The Army rejected Clarke’s request and said it would be too contentious to rename them. “After over a century, any effort to rename memorializations on Fort Hamilton would be controversial and divisive,” the Army’s deputy assistant chief of staff, Diane Randon, wrote to Clarke. “This is contrary to the Nation’s original intent in naming these streets, which was the spirit of reconciliation.”

Clarke said she’ll keep fighting for the removal of the street names that honor Confederate generals. On Tuesday, the congresswoman tweeted: “Thank you @LIDiocese for removing these Confederate monuments! Next the streets at Fort Hamilton.”

[Via Newsday]

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Neighborhoods : Fort Hamilton

  • wright gregson

    I think it is important to NOT erase history at the same time we are trying to erase morally repugnant philosophies.

    • 6SJ7

      Who determines what’s morally repugnant? All the left is doing is creating the mother of all political backlashes. The white nationalists will go nowhere politically but white voters don’t see any elected officials calling out BLM and Antifa for similar tactics.

      • wright gregson

        I just found out what antifa is and I would feel the same way about them, too.
        on all of these issues, I hope the police forces etc are able to handle the situation correctly.
        Peaceful demonstrations should be ok, whether one agrees with them or not.

      • jsy

        Bull. If you cannot discern the moral repugnancy of Nazism and the KKK there is no point in anyone capable of reason speaking to you on any subject requiring innate decency.
        Additionally, white nationalists have already gone “somewhere”. They are in the f*cking White House!

        Finally, There is nothing to call out BLM about. Every day some blatant hypocrite on the “right” attempts to equate the BLM struggle for equal treatment by our Klan infested police departments with the naked domestic terrorism of white racists. It is a lie and a misdirect and the people who perpetuate it are liars. Period.
        By the way, what’s the latest count on rightwing fakes going on media accusing some “black person” of assault only to be found out and proven liars in their attempts to justify their mindless hatred?

  • jsy

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