From the 8 March 1903 issue of The New York Times.


Northerners Would Wave the “Bloody Shirt” Over Lee Statue.

Talk of Placing an Effigy of John Brown Beside It in Statuary Hall at Washington

Special to The New York Times.WASHINTON, March 7.—Evidence is accumulating that if the State of Virginia persists in the purpose to enforce her undoubted legal right of placing Gen. Robert E. Lee’s statue in the Capitol there will be a plentiful stirring up of sectional feeling. Western Congressmen are particularly violent on the subject, and the Lee statue will not get into Statuary Hall without a recrudescence of “bloody shirt#&8221; speeches.

The Kansas delegation, which is particularly stirred about the affair, will lead the fight. There has been some talke to the effect that Kansas might send a statue of John Brown and put it beside that of Lee, Brown being a figure in Kansas history and also a man whose name is particularly offensive to Virginia.

Representative Curtis of Kansas said to-day: “I do not know about John Brown, but I do know there is one man who will fight against putting Lee’s statue in the hall. I thik it will be a disgrace. He was a traitor to his country, and I will not sanction an official honor for a traitor.”

Similar sentiments were expressed by Representative Miller of Kansas. Representative Cooper of Wisconsin said he thought it would be unwise to officially honor the memory of a man wh had tried to destroy the Government.

The best illustration of the temper in which the Western Congressmen are likely to approach the question, however, is afforded in a joint resolution introduced by Representative Weeks of Michigan in the closing days of the last session, providing for the erection of a statue of John Brown in Richmond. It is as follows:

Whereas, John Brown of Ossawatomie, Kan., was instrumental in ridding the United States of the curse of human slavery; and,

Whereas, the State of Virginia and other States of the Union were particularly benefited by his disinterested and philanthropic career in behalf of the oppressed; therefore,

Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, that a statue of John Brown of Ossawatomie, Kan., in marble or bronze, with appropriate pedestal, be erected in or upon the United States Custom House and Post Office Building or grounds in the City of Richmond, in the State of Virginia, and that the sum of $25,000 be, and the hsame is hereby, appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to pay for the same and the necessary expenses attending its erection and dedication.

That a commission, consisting of the Secretary of the Treasury, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of War, be, and the same is hereby, constituted and appointed and charged with the duty of carrying out the provisions of this resolution.

As Mr. Weeks’s resolution died with the Fifty-seventh Congress, opponents of the Lee Statue declare that it will again be introduced in the Fifty-eighth. While the obvious intent of the resolution is sarcastic, some of the Southerners take it seriously. Representative Maynard of Virginia said to-day:

My State did not appreciate John Brown’s disinterested and philanthropic career, and our people do not take kindly to such ideas as that contained in the resolution introduced by Mr. Weeks. Personally, I do not believe that Mr. Weeks wished his proposition to be seriously considered. If he did, we cannot but regard it with suspicion and distrust. The State and people of Virginia would rsent and resist in every possible way the accomplishment of the plan outlined by the gentleman from Michigan and the men whom he doubtless represents.

Up to date all the harshness and ill-feeling which have characterized the discussion have come from the North. The Southern attitude has been that of placid insistence upon the placing of the statue.

Representative Livingston of Georgia thus discussed the question to-day:

This talk against the Lee Statue is all misdirected. Virginia has been given the right to place the statues of two of her sons in the hall, and that right cannot be taken away, although there may be a great deal of fuss and feathers about the acceptance of the statue by Congress.

The Marquette statue was never accepted by Congress, but it remains in Statuary Hall, all the same. Georgia has a statue of Alexander Stephens in the Hall. He was a Vice President of the Confederacy. If hatred of the Confederacy is at the bottom of this movement, why any more objection to Lee than to Stephens? Both represented a principle, and each in his way did all he could to make that principle permanent.

If Kansas wants to place John Brown’s Statue in the hall no one can object. If Kansas thinks he was one of her great men nobody can object to her ideals of what great men are. The reflection will be on Kansas, the same as will be the case as to Lee, if there is any reflection.