Norton Bill to Permanently Remove Statue of Confederate General Albert Pike Passes in Committee
Oct 2, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today thanked Chairman Raúl Grijalva and the House Natural Resources Committee for passing her bill to permanently remove the statue of Confederate General Albert Pike from federal land near Judiciary Square in the District of Columbia. This is the final legislative step before House floor consideration of the bill.
Norton introduced the bill on July 30, 2019. The statue was authorized in 1898 by Congress, not the District, at a time when D.C. lacked home rule. Norton testified at a hearing on the bill in July 2020, following the statue’s extrajudicial removal by demonstrators the prior month. Her bill gives congressional backing to the clear will of D.C. residents.
“It is important to note that I met with the Freemasons, who donated the statue to the federal government in 1898 in honor of Albert Pike, who was a member, and that the freemasons now themselves support the removal of the statue due to its divisive nature,” Norton said. “Albert Pike stained this nation’s history. Pike was the least deserving of a statue, particularly in the nation’s capital. He was forced to resign in disgrace, his soldiers were found to have mutilated the bodies of Union soldiers, and he was ultimately imprisoned after his fellow officers reported that he had been misappropriating funds. This statue belongs in a museum where historical context can be provided, not in the everyday space of D.C. residents.”