Hogan: Removing the Taney statue from State House was 'right thing to do' - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Hogan: Removing the Taney statue from State House was ‘right thing to do’

The statue of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney was hauled away early Friday morning on a flatbed truck. The monument had been erected on the grounds of the Maryland State House in Annapolis in 1872. (Screenshot WBALTV11)

BALTIMORE – A controversial statue of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney was hauled from the grounds of the Maryland State House in Annapolis early Friday morning, just two days after state officials voted to take it down.

By 1 a.m. Friday, crews arrived with a flatbed truck and a crane. At about 2 a.m., the statue was removed from its pedestal by the crane, put on the truck and hauled away to storage.

The statue had been on the grounds of the State House for 145 years. It was erected near the original front door in 1872 to memorialize the Supreme Court Chief Justice from Maryland who wrote the decision in the 1857 Dred Scott case. That ruling upheld slavery and denied citizenship to black people.

Maryland Capitol police have guarded the statue around the clock since Wednesday morning – the day after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement that removing the statue was the “right thing to do.” The Republican governor said he would ask the State House Trust to act immediately.

Three of the four voting members of the Trust voted by email Wednesday to remove the statue.

Credit: Rudi Riet/Creative Commons via Flickr

In a letter to the governor on Thursday, Senate President Mike Miller, a Democrat who is a member of the trust, criticized holding the vote without a public meeting. Miller did not vote.

House Speaker Michael Busch – another Democrat who voted to remove it – wrote this week that the statue “doesn’t belong” on the grounds.

Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford vote on behalf of the administration to remove the monument.

Another statue of Taney was one of four Confederate-era monuments that were quietly removed overnight early Wednesday morning in Baltimore. Mayor Catherine Pugh had said earlier in the day that the statues would be removed soon.

An artist’s sculpture that was unofficially put on the pedestal where statues of Gen. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson on horseback had previously stood has been knocked to the ground. Police are investigating the vandalism.

In March, Charles Taney IV stood next to the Annapolis memorial and apologized on behalf of his family to the Scott family and to all black Americans for the “terrible injustice of the Dred Scott decision.” Lynne Jackson, Scott’s great-great-granddaughter, accepted the apology “so that healing can begin” and hugged Taney.

The impending removal of a statue of Gen. Robert Lee in Charlottesville, Va., triggered violent protests Saturday in which white supremacists clashed with counter-protesters. Paralegal Heather Heyer, 32, was killed and two Virginia state troopers whose helicopter crashed also died.

This article is republished with permission from Talk Media News.

About the author

Regina Holmes has more than two decades of experience as a journalist –editing and reporting for news dailies including the Miami Herald, Newsday and the Baltimore Examiner. Contact the author.