The Changing Face of History

Today we step away from our normal beat… turn from the daily press of events… and reflect upon the permanent things…

Or the impermanent things as the case may be.

Four Confederate statues were hauled out of Baltimore parks this Wednesday… in the small hours… under cover of darkness.

It might have attracted a crowd otherwise — as in Charlottesville.

And with potentially similar results.

One of the statues, not actually Confederate, squatted just one block from our HQ.

Executed in time-worn bronze, it depicted the stern countenance of Roger B. Taney.

Taney was the Supreme Court justice who authored the majority opinion in the infamous 1857 Dred Scott case.

The ruling denied blacks American citizenship.

Taney’s statue had adorned historic Mount Vernon Square since 1887.

As of this Wednesday… it adorns historic Mount Vernon Square no longer.


Statue Before


Statue Now

We do not know who or what will replace Mr. Taney’s glowering presence atop the lonesome pedestal… if anything.

We are curious about one point, however…

The last surviving ship from Pearl Harbor is permanently docked in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

That ship would be the Coast Guard cutter… Roger B. Taney.

She’s part of Baltimore’s Maritime Museum.



What becomes of her?

She bears Taney’s name after all.

Do they refit old USCGC-37 with a moniker more befitting these inclusive times?

Do they tow her out beyond the capes of the Chesapeake and bury Taney’s name in Davy Jones’ locker?

Or do they simply leave her be?

At all events…

What do you think of the growing movement to remove Confederate statues from the nation’s public spaces?

Historical vandalism… or an idea whose time has come?


Brian Maher
Managing editor, The Daily Reckoning

The Daily Reckoning