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Outside pitch for Slavery Museum
A member of a group trying to get a national park established at Fort Monroe down in Hampton wrote an op-ed in the Virginian-Pilot this week arguing that both Doug Wilder’s proposed U.S. National Slavery Museum and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture should locate at Fort Monroe because of its extensive ties to the history of slavery, the slave trade and African American contributions to American culture and history.
Scott Butler writes:
"Gov. Tim Kaine should encourage Wilder and the Smithsonian to focus on Fort Monroe and Old Point Comfort as a Smithsonian Affiliate site. He could share with them what a dozen Civil War historians said at a symposium organized by his Fort Monroe Authority. They called the fort "a spiritual Ellis Island" for African Americans and "sacred ground" in the continuing story of American freedom."
Thanks to Dan Telvock for pointing this one out.
This isn’t the only call for Wilder’s museum to move that has appeared in the Virginia press recently.
At a June forum for the candidates vying to succeed Wilder as mayor of Richmond, candidate Paul Goldman had this to say, according to Richmond.com reporter Dionne Waugh (my former colleague at The News & Advance):
Richmond should be the destination city for southern women, he said, adding that there should be a monument for women on Monument Avenue. They should also tell Fredericksburg, where Wilder wants to build a slavery museum, that Richmond is the place to tell the history of slavery, not Fredericksburg.
In early June, Richmond City Councilwoman Delores McQuinn had this to say at the groundbreaking of an archaeological dig at the site of the old Lumpkin’s slave jail, according to a story in the RTD:
McQuinn said the U.S. National Slavery Museum should be built on the Lumpkin’s site, not in Fredericksburg as Wilder has planned.
"The slavery museum should be here, but, if not, we should do something here," she said, suggesting a display of artifacts at Main Street Station.