Dueling petitions want Seward statue to stay - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, July 11, 2020
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Dueling petitions want Seward statue to stay

A petition at Change.org that demands the statue of William Seward come down from the plaza in front of the Alaska State Capitol has been answered by another petition — this one to keep the statue.

On June 23, Richard Showalter of Palmer started the petition, and within four days over 500 people had signed it.

The first petition, which says the statue should be removed, was created June 10 and, as of this writing, has over 1,700 signatures.

It’s impossible to say where the signers are from in these online petitions or if they are even Alaskans. Change.org petitions can be influential, however.

In the “Seward Must Go” petition, Seward is described as “a colonizer who contributed to the disenfranchisement of Alaska Native peoples.

“In this current climate, where other monuments depicting racists and representatives of slavery are being taken down across the country, Juneau should honor our Indigenous hosts whose land we stand upon and remove William H. Seward from the capital courtyard,” the petition says.

Seward was an abolitionist who worked to free the slaves.

The second petition, “Seward Must Stay,” describes Seward as a “determined opponent of the spread of slavery in the years leading up to the American Civil War, he was a prominent figure in the Republican Party in its formative years, and was praised for his work on behalf of the Union as Secretary of State during the Civil War.

After the original “Seward Must Stay” petition, two others wanting to keep the statue popped up at the website and are starting to gain signatures.

All the Seward Statue petitions are at this link.

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Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • I have searched for Keep Captain Cook statue and cannot find it on change.org. Please post the Captain Cook petitions.

  • Tried to sign the petition but it either would not accept the signature or I signed it 4x. These online petitions are not very accurate. Plus, if you don’t have the most up to date technology you are disenfranchised from participating.

  • There is quite a bit of this right now, tearing down things to make some statement. I agree that if someone deserves credit for shaping the history of AK, then fine, build them a statue. However, that doesn’t justify tearing down others. It is ironic that the Anch City Seal has a Cook type ship as part of the design. So do we need to change that too?

    There is no doubt that Seward played an important role in where the State is today. Should we try and erase that?

  • How about you? Let’s speak plain English. I am sick of the people who are trying to tear up governments, cities, personal lives…and they don’t even want to prevent spreading Wuhan virus… by complaining about wearing masks. I am sick of it!!! Let’s get going!!!! Any ideas? I’ve got one vote. That help, but we the people have to get up off our comfortable couches…we parents…and shut the dissenter children down!!!!!!!

  • Quite honestly, who gives a damn what these ass hats want to do. Last time I checked they were not running the Great State of Alaska. If you don’t like our statues go build your own. Otherwise, we don’t care much for your radical misguided new found personal idealistic guilt. Statues stay – you leave.

  • If these uneducated malcontents knew just a little history, they would let the statue stand. We are all fortunate for Seward’s work. Ever wonder why so many towns in SE AK have Russian sounding names? The Russians were here first and Seward, with great foresight, had the US purchase it. All Native Americans would have suffered horrifically under Stalin. If Russia would have surrendered it to Imperial Japan, not too many of them would be around today.

    • A Japanese gunboat once sailed by Gamble on St. Lawrence Island and the crew turned their deck gun towards the beach loaded with Natives. They did not fire, but the Natives threw rocks at them.

  • Not so. Ancestors currently living in Russia do about the same. Most are villagers same as here. Russia wasn’t afraid of the Japanese. Not one bit. Your crystal ball is cloudy.

    • I had a Native gun boat cruise past me on the Tanana one time. We had shore lunch together.

  • Here is the link to the petition —.


  • Better go full libtard and rename the Seward Highway. While we are at it, name 3rd Avenue “Berkowitz Blvd”

  • Just like with Captain Cook, when Seward came the Russians were already here. The saintly Natives should say prayers of thanks every day that the USA and not Russia owns Alaska.
    The United States of America owns Alaska. It is owned by all Americans.

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