—Baltimore's Confederate Monuments —
This monument was a gift from prominent Baltimore banker J. Henry Ferguson, who left funds in his will for the City of Baltimore to create a monument to his childhood heroes, Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. Ferguson died in 1928, but due to the Great Depression and World War II, the monument was not dedicated until 1948.
Sculpted by Laura Gardin Fraser, this rare double equestrian monument depicts Lee and Jackson departing for the Battle of Chancellorsville, in Virginia. These two men became subjects of the "Lost Cause" movement which portrayed them as Christian soldiers and even as men who opposed slavery. Today current scholarship refutes these claims. These larger-than-life representations of Lee and Jackson helped perpetuate the "Lost Cause" ideology, which advocated for white supremacy and portrayed slavery as benign and justified secession.
In the same period that this monument was installed, Baltimore City continued to enforce racial segregation housing ordinances and deed covenants, continued to support segregation policies in public spaces and programs, and unequally funded African American school budgets, infrastructure improvement, and public programs.
In 2015, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake appointed a Special Commission to Review Baltimore's Public Confederate
Monuments to provide recommendations based on informed decisions and citizen input on how to address Baltimore's monuments that honor the Confederacy and the Lost Cause Movement. This commission concluded that this monument was part of a propaganda campaign of national pro-Confederate organizations to perpetuate the beliefs of white supremacy, falsify history, and support segregation and racial intimidation.
This plaque serves to inform the public on the history of Baltimore's Confederate monuments. For more information, please review the Special Commission to Review Baltimore's Public Confederate Monuments Report to Mayor Rawlings-Blake located at w.w.w.chap.baltimorecity.gov.
Sign content developed by the Baltimore City Commission on Historical and Architectural Preservation. Graphic design services provided by the Baltimore National Heritage Area.