Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has issued a public statement regarding the recent decision on the fate of the Jefferson Davis statue in the state capitol building’s rotunda.
Beshear had this to say:
The Historic Properties Advisory Commission by law has control over the statues in the Rotunda of the State Capitol, and recently I asked the Commission to review the appropriateness of the Jefferson Davis statue remaining in the Rotunda.
The Commission received thousands of public comments and consulted with state historians. After reviewing all the information, the consensus it reached is that the Jefferson Davis statue represented a part of the state’s history and will remain in the Capitol. However, the panel voted to establish a committee that would determine ways to ensure the statues, including Jefferson Davis, are displayed in the appropriate historical context.
While many Kentuckians feel that it would be preferable for the Jefferson Davis statue to be in a museum setting, the addition of this educational and historical context is critical. The generations to come must understand the enormous toll of the Civil War that tore apart this nation and the tragic issue of slavery at the root of that war.
Kentucky played a unique historical role as the birthplace of the presidents of both sides of the conflict. We must ensure that dark chapter of our nation’s past serves to educate in ways that ensure such a tragedy can never happen again.
Davis, the only president of the Confederacy, was born in 1808 in what is now the community of Fairview, Kentucky, on the border of Christian and Todd counties and was the last of ten children born to Samuel and Jane Davis.