Jefferson Davis statue.

Jefferson Davis, Belated Tribute (Gone)

Field review by the editors.

Memphis, Tennessee

Jefferson Davis stopped being President of the Confederate States of America in May 1865. 99 years later, Memphis erected a statue in his honor.

The delay had little to do with Davis, who was never really loved by the South during the Civil War. But in the 1950s, Davis's memory was revived by Memphis as a counterpoint to the Civil Rights movement, a way to show the world that the city was still part of the Old South. Davis had lived in Memphis for several years after the war, and the statue -- eight feet tall on an 11-foot-tall granite base -- is supposedly positioned so that his upheld arm points toward his former home on Court Street.

The engraving on the statue's pedestal goes out of its way to note that though Davis was President of the Confederate States, he also did a lot for the United States: Congressman, Senator, Secretary of War. "He was a true American patriot," the engraving concludes. It's true: he was patriotic to both the United States of America and the Confederate States of America.

In 1999 the Memphis Parks Commission considered replacing Davis with a Cancer Survivors Plaza, but it was eventually built elsewhere. Davis, always a grim-faced statue subject, remained until December 20, 2017, when the statue was finally taken down.

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Jefferson Davis, Belated Tribute

Directions:
Downtown, in the center of Confederate Park. On the west side of N. Front St. between Jefferson and Court Aves.
Hours:
Statue was taken down Dec. 20, 2017.
Status:
Gone

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