Thirty-three statues of Columbus. Nine of the Founding Fathers. Eight of Saint Junipero Serra. With the frequency of the ongoing iconoclasm, it can be hard to gain a scale of the problem.

For each story that has breached the news cycle, at least a dozen went unreported outside of local media. This detailed list records each instance monuments have been defaced, vandalized, and or torn down since nationwide protests began, updated as more occur.

Some key takeaways include:

  • At least 183 monuments, memorials, statues, and major historical markers have been defaced or pulled down since protests began in May.
  • While Confederate monuments have taken the lion’s share of media coverage, they actually form a minority of the statues targeted.
  • By far the most popular target was Christopher Columbus, with 33 statues in total having been defaced and pulled down.
  • The next most popular targets were Robert E. Lee (9), Serra (8), and Thomas Jefferson (4).
  • The vast majority of the vandals were never charged, with 177 out of 183 instances having no arrests.
  • Most monuments torn down were not by protesters, but by city officials after pressure or threats from protesters.
  • By far the most common route for monuments being destroyed was for protesters to damage it, then the city quickly removing it as a “public safety” hazard, not to be returned.
  • For a majority of the statues removed, the fate of the artwork is currently unknown, while a minority have been moved to cemeteries and museums.

The list begins with the most recent instance of iconoclasm and continues backwards in time until the first instance connected with nationwide rioting, in late May.

July 20

Monument to Marcus Daly, Butte, MT

Monument to the 19th-century Irish immigrant and successful businessman. Defaced with vandalism reading OLD WHITE MAN TEAR IT DOWN BLACK LIVES MATTER. Was restored by locals with materials donated by local businesses.

July 19th

Cemetery Monument to Confederate Soldiers, Savannah, GA

A statue dedicated to Confederate soldiers in the Battle of Gettysburg, placed above graves of Confederate soldiers. Defaced in two separate incidents, which included graffiti and damage to the statue.

July 18

Memorial to Fallen Kansas City Police Officers, Kansas City, MO

A memorial to 119 KCPD officers who have been killed in the line of duty. Defaced by crowd of 150 protesters surrounding the local police headquarters, which was also vandalized. Marked with graffiti, including messages with “Abolish the Police” and “No Room 4 Fascists.” The mayor promised to restore it, and several arrests were made.

Monument to Christopher Columbus, Chicago, IL

Large 87-year-old monument created by the city’s Italian-American community, included icons of other Italian explorers and scientists. Defaced by a crowd of hundreds of protesters advocating for abolishing the police. They also attempted to pull it down, but were prevented by police. Eighteen officers were injured during the confrontation, and several people were arrested.

July 17

Statue of Jesus Christ, Miami, FL

Statue of Jesus at a Catholic Church was pulled down, then beheaded by unknown criminals. The diocese is asking for the attack to be investigated as a hate crime. One of a surge of attacks on Catholic churches and icons across the country.

Statue of Robert E. Lee, Antietam, MD

Seventeen-year-old statue of the Confederate general at Antietam National Battlefield. Defaced with BLM graffiti. Will be restored.

July 16

Union Veterans Monument, Saratoga, NY

One hundred and forty-five year-old statue dedicated to Union veterans of the 77th Saratoga Volunteers Regiment. Pulled down then torn to pieces by unknown vandals.

Statue of George Washington, New Orleans, LA

Statue of the nation’s founder defaced with BLM graffiti by unknown vandals.

July 15

Alexander Andreyevich Baranov Statue, Sitka, AK

Thirty-one year-old statue of the Russian merchant, who led the Russian settlements in what is today Alaska. Involved in several wars against the Tlingit tribe, which massacred several Russian settlements. Despite public support for the previously vandalized statue, the city government ordered it removed after pressure from protesters.

Statue of the Blessed Mother, Chatanooga, TN

Statue of the Virgin Mary at a Catholic Church torn down and beheaded by unknown vandals. Part of a series of attacks on religious icons and churches across the country.

Monument to Confederate Soldiers, Amarillo, TX

Eighty-nine year-old statue of local Confederate soldiers. Defaced numerous times by unknown vandals, including graffiti with protester messages. The city government is in the early stages of a plan to remove the statue following a petition from activists.

July 14

Confederate Statue, Oxford, MS

Monument to Confederate soldiers at Ole Miss. Defaced, then removed by the school administration following protests. Will be moved to a nearby Confederate cemetery.

Numerous Religious Statues, Punta Gorda, FL

Several statues of Jesus, Saint Mary, and three children were torn down and defaced by night at a Catholic church. Security camera footage captured a suspect, who was found and arrested.

Statue of Ronald Reagan, Dixon, IL

Statue of the nation’s 40th President, placed on the banks of Rock River where he served as a lifeguard; he has been credited with saving upwards of 70 lives while on duty. Defaced with protester graffiti by night.

July 13

Statue of Hiawatha, LaCrosse, WI

Sixty-year-old statue of the Native American legendary leader. Requested to be removed by city government because it became a tourist attraction, and as a way to “face the symbols of our past.”

Statue of Thomas Ruffin, Raleigh, NC

Statue of the state Supreme Court justice, who made pro-slavery rulings and was a slave owner. Pulled down by the city because of concerns about protesters tearing it down themselves.

July 11

Sampson County Confederate Monument, Clinton, NC

Following protests surrounding the monument, demonstrators attempted to pull it down, which partially succeeded. The city then removed the rest.

Statue of the Virgin Mary, Boston, MA

Set afire by unknown vandals, badly burning the face, arms, and upper body of the statue.

July 10
9-11 Memorial, Washingtonville, NY

Memorial to firefighters who died during the September 11 Islamist terrorist attack in New York. Defaced by unknown perpetrators, who sawed down the American flag at the site, then removed the memorial’s eagle.

Statue of Sophie B. Wright, New Orleans, LA

Thirty-eight year-old statue of the 19th-century education advocate and philantropist, was a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Defaced with BLM graffiti by unknown vandals.

Statue of Christopher Columbus, Buffalo, NY

Sixty-eight year-old statue proactively removed by its Italian American owners after seeing other Columbus statues defaced and destroyed during protests. “We don’t want any of those things to happen because that would be an insult to our community, and we don’t want to be insulted,” stated one of the group leaders.

John McDonough Bust, New Orleans, LA

Eighty-two year-old statue of the entrepreneur and public school donor, who owned slaves. Major advocate of manumission and return of enslaved workers to Liberia. His bust was pulled down with ropes, and the remaining monument damaged by vandals.

Bust of Colonel Charles Didier Dreux, New Orleans, LA

Bust of the first Confederate field officer killed in the Civil War. Pulled down from its pedestal by unidentified vandals, then defaced. There are no plans for its restoration.

July 9

Statue of a Confederate Soldier, Oxford, NC

Statue of a Confederate soldier in front of a county library. Removed by commissioners, without a public hearing, after reports of violent threats to the statue in an upcoming protest.

Joseph Bryan Statue, Richmond, VA

Statue of Richmond journalist and owner of the city newspaper, who also served in the Confederate Army. Pulled down by the city government as part of city-wide removal of monuments associated with the Confederacy.

Fitzhigh Lee Cross, Richmond, VA

Cross dedicated to the Virginia governor, who served as a general for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Pulled down by the city government as part of city-wide removal of monuments associated with the Confederacy.

Historical Marker of David Dodd’s Execution, Little Rock, AR

Monument marking the site where a 17-year-old was executed by Union troops as a spy. Pulled down by the city because of Dodd’s association with the Lost Cause movement.

July 8

Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Statue, Richmond, VA

One hundred twenty-six year-old monument to Confederate veterans. After being surrounded by BLM messages during protests and seeing nearby statues torn down by protesters, the city mayor used his emergency powers to pull down the monument, along with many others, as threats to public safety.

Courthouse Confederate Statue, Wadesboro, NC

Long-vandalized 114-year-old statue dedicated to local Confederate soldiers killed in the Civil War. Ordered removed by the city government. To be auctioned off to private buyer.

Statue of Christopher Columbus, Trenton, NJ

Sixty-year-old statue ordered removed by the city council following calls from activists and vandalism.

July 7

Columbus’ Last Appeal to Queen Isabella, Sacramento, CA

Group of 137-year-old marble statues in the center of the Capitol Rotunda. Removed by the California State Legislature “given the deadly impact his arrival in this hemisphere has on indigenous populations.” The artwork’s future is unknown.

Statue of JEB Stuart, Richmond VA

One hundred thirteen year-old monument to “Jeb” Stuart, a Confederate cavalry general. After it was vandalized with tar by protesters, the city pulled down the monument.

Statue of Andrew Jackson, Jackson, MS

Seventy-two year-old statue of the nation’s seventh president. To be torn down under orders of the city government, who stated it is being done to further racial justice.

Henry County Confederate Monument, McDonough, GA

One hundred and ten year-old monument to Confederate soldiers. Following petitions by thousands of activists, the city government ordered the monument pulled down.

July 6

Statue of Christopher Columbus, Bridgeport, CT

Sixty-year-old statue pulled down without warning by the city council out of “public safety” concerns. Future unknown.

Statue of Christopher Columbus, Columbus, WI

Statue of the explorer dedicated in the 1980s. Ordered removed by the city council, who refused to have a referendum on it. Future unknown.

Statue of John Mason, Windsor, CT

One hundred year-old statue of the early English settler involved in the killing of hundreds of Native Americans in a retaliation attack during the Peqot War. Vandalized with BLM graffiti, then removed by the city.

July 5

Statue of Frederick Douglass, Rochester, NY

One hundred twenty-one year-old statue to the legendary abolitionist. Defaced and torn down by unknown vandals. The statue was deemed too damaged to be returned to its place.

Monument to Judah Benjamin, Sarasota, FL

Seventy-eight year-old marker dedicated to the Confederate secretary of state’s voyage across the Atlantic. Abruptly removed by the city following calls from activists.

Confederate Mass Grave Monument, Greensboro, NC

Marked the graves of more than 300 unidentified Confederate soldiers. Vandalized then toppled by unknown vandals.

Three Mississippi Confederate Monuments, MS

Three Mississippi monuments and memorials to Confederate soldiers. All three were ordered removed by local governments as a result of the ongoing unrest, with unknown final resting places for the statues.

July 4
Statue of Christopher Columbus, Waterbury, CT

Statue donated by Italian American Association in the 1980s. After previously being guarded by protesters protecting the statue, vandals eventually managed to behead the statue then spray it with red paint.

Statue of Christopher Columbus, Baltimore, MA

Statue created through donations from Italian American associations in the ’80s. Pulled down with ropes by protesters, dragged through the streets, then dumped in the harbor.

San Junipero Serra Statue, Sacramento, CA

Statue of the saint was beaten, graffitied, set on fire, then pulled down by hundreds of protesters.

July 3
Statue of the Virgin Mary, Gary, IN

Statue of the Virgin Mary was found beheaded and torn apart by unknown vandals.

Statue of Private Benjamin Welch Owens, Hampden, PA

Statue in church yard dedicated to a Confederate soldier was pulled down and defaced by vandals, who labelled it racist. The church pledged afterwards to not return it to its position, while condemning the vandalism.

Jenkins Monument, Hampden, PA

Monument marking the location of Confederate Brigadier General Albert Jenkins and his troops movements near Gettysburg. Set up 15 years ago by a local historical society to mark the closest Confederate troops came to Harrisburg, Penn. Torn down by owner of the building whose land it was on.

United Confederate Veterans Memorial, Seattle, WA

Ninety-four year-old memorial to Confederate soldiers in a cemetery set up by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Defaced then toppled by a group of protesters.

July 2
Civil War Historical Markers and Statues, McConnellsburg, PA

Several statues and plaques marking Civil War events in the town, including states of two Confederate soldiers killed in the area. Ordered removed by the county, despite resistance from local history groups.

Mt. Zion Methodist Confederate Statue, Charlotte, NC

One hundred eleven year-old statue of a Confederate soldier. Defaced by protesters, then requested removed by the church whose land it stood on.

Matthew Fountain Maury Monument, Richmond, VA

Ninety-one year-old statue to the key oceanographer and astronomer, who also served as an officer in the Confederate Navy. The monument depicts him in civilian garb, although it notes his position in the Confederate military. Defaced numerous times by protesters, who attempted but failed to pull it down. Later pulled down by the mayor using emergency powers.

Christopher Columbus Statue, Philadelphia, PA

One hundred forty-four year-old statue ordered removed by the city mayor as a way of “reckoning with systemic racism.” Directly followed clashes between protesters and demonstrators aiming to protect the statue from being torn down.

Statue of George Whitefield, Philadelphia, PA

One hundred and one year-old statue of the key Methodist founder and popular Great Awakening minister. Pulled down by the University of Pennsylvania because he was a slaveowner who supported slavery. The administration described Whitefield as a figure who was “inconsistent with the University’s values.”

July 1
Elk, Portland, OR

120-year-old statue of an elk dedicated to the area’s wildlife. Set afire and vandalized numerous times during protests, until so damaged the city removed it for public safety concerns.

Statue of Christopher Columbus, Austin, TX

Sixty-three year-old statue donated by local Italian American society. Removed by the city government with the cooperation of the society, to be replaced by a different Italian American monument. Future of statue unknown.

Statue of Christopher Columbus, Columbus, OH

Sixty-five year-old statue of Columbus gifted to the city by citizens from Genoa, Italy. Pulled down by the city government as a symbol of “patriarchy, oppression, and divisiveness.”

Robert E. Lee Memorial, Roanoke, VA

Small memorial to the Confederate general in plaza named after him. Following requests from residents, the statue was removed by the city, future unknown. One of numerous Virginia monuments removed following the state revoking laws preventing monuments being pulled down.

Stonewall Jackson Monument, Richmond, VA

Large 101-year-old statue of the Confederate general. In response to attempts across the city to tear down monuments by protesters and vandalism of the statue, the city mayor used his emergency powers to have the city pull down the monument.

July 1
Elk, Portland, OR

120-year-old statue of an elk dedicated to the area’s wildlife. Set afire and vandalized numerous times during protests, until so damaged the city removed it for public safety concerns.

Statue of Christopher Columbus, Austin, TX

Sixty-three year-old statue donated by local Italian American society. Removed by the city government with the cooperation of the society, to be replaced by a different Italian American monument. Future of statue unknown.

Statue of Christopher Columbus, Columbus, OH

Sixty-five year-old statue of Columbus gifted to the city by citizens from Genoa, Italy. Pulled down by the city government as a symbol of “patriarchy, oppression, and divisiveness.”

Robert E. Lee Memorial, Roanoke, VA

Small memorial to the Confederate general in plaza named after him. Following requests from residents, the statue was removed by the city, future unknown. One of numerous Virginia monuments removed following the state revoking laws preventing monuments being pulled down.

Stonewall Jackson Monument, Richmond, VA

Large 101-year-old statue of the Confederate general. In response to attempts across the city to tear down monuments by protesters and vandalism of the statue, the city mayor used his emergency powers to have the city pull down the monument.

Author: Jonah Gottschalk

Source: The Federalist: List Of 183 Monuments Ruined Since Protests Began, And Counting

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