Now they’re coming for statue of William Seward

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Christopher Columbus has lost his head in Boston, and his statue has been torn down in Minneapolis. But that’s just the start, it appears.

In Boston, protesters beheaded the statue of Christopher Columbus.

A list of people on the social media platform Change.org is demanding that the statue of William Seward be removed from the plaza in front of the Alaska Capitol in Juneau.

The statue honors the American credited with the 1867 purchase of Alaska from Russia.

“In 2016 a statue was raised in Juneau of William H. Seward, who was a colonizer who contributed to the disenfranchisement of Alaska Native peoples,” wrote the petition creator Jennifer LeRoe, of Juneau. Over 400 people have signed the petition, which was addressed to Rep. Sara Hannan and Sen. Jesse Kiehl, Juneau Democrats.

“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 concludes.

Over 400 people have signed the petition online since it was created on June 10. The reasons they gave include that Seward was a bad man, that colonization was bad, and that indigenous people feel disrespected by the statue.

Seward was a leading abolitionist, who was President Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State, and served as New York’s 12th governor and then as a member of the U.S. Senate, where he was an ardent antislavery activist.

67 COMMENTS

  1. Not in favor of this. Seward may not have championed native causes, but Alaska coming under the control of the US was surely better for them than had it stayed with the Russians.

    • So, as a 6th generation Alaskan whose has a deep and respectful appreciation for all Alaskan history, I ask all people on this comment thread: Why don’t we sign/make a petition opposing this push to remove William Sewards memorial in Juneau? I have a great respect for both William Seward and Captain Cook (whose statue they are looking to remove in Anchorage). It is absolutely ridiculous to remove memorials of great historical figures that helped shape this state into something better. This state as it stands was built off of the shoulders of individuals like Seward. If you are all interested in opposing this I suggest that we organize and make a strong effort to oppose the move to take away historical monuments to our rich state history. Unfortunately, this “movement” to change the past does not appear to be a fleeting fancy, but is a strong threat and those of us who care to preserve history need to adamantly oppose it.

      • I actually made one for the Seward statue. It’s on gopetition. For some reason a moderator took the link in my last comment out.

  2. Where is the counter petition? In the interest of preserving History (History must be remembered!) I would sign it and disseminate it for many others to sign.

    History must be viewed in context and not measured apples to oranges. The truth be acknowledged, all of us has done things that could be viewed by others as disgraceful. Should all the notable and good works that we’ve done be completely erased as punishment? No, of course not.

    • Actually this “Revolution” is patterned almost exactly after Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

      • A great read is “Life and Death in Shanghai.” I guess these “new revolutionaries” agree with China and the cultural revolution and propaganda machine. Another great read “Son of the Revolution.” Yes the current climate is scary. Erasing history solves nothing. Objectively learning history is enlightening.
        Kathy Estes former Alaskan

      • Thank you!!

        I am so tired of everyone calling these things fascist and nazi.
        All of this is clearly modern bolshevism.

  3. So, does that mean that totem poles should be removed from Juneau sites because the Haida and Tlinget people held slaves? I suppose we could go full-Soviet and require the look of the State Office Building (stained grey concrete) for all buildings.

    • Good point. I’ll never forget going through the Native heritage museum in Haines, and seeing the propaganda about how “their slavery practices” were, “much more humane” than everyone else’s. The museum was nice, and I love and respect alaska Native culture, but they have no claim to some fictitious compassionate and enlightened version of treating people like property. All slavery is wrong. Any fool can see that. But they feel they had to put up so they could have some sort of moral high ground 1-200 years later. It’s pathetic. The only thing more pathetic than the people who put out this nonsense, are the sheeple and ignorant rubes who line up to submit to it.

        • You said it, Mongo. Plus, the Left-wing media and history revisionism. Full-court press by the Liberals. It used to be that the brain-washing was done in college by Lefty professors. The independent thinkers remained quiet and studied their books. But in the past generation and a half, the brain-washing now actually begins in grade school. We are seeing these young adults with radical political ideas thrust upon them during their entire education. They are angry, hostile, unhappy and very mixed-up people. All of the old school institutions and moral fiber that held our country together has come apart at the seams. It has been replaced with mob rule, homosexuality and gay marriage, disrespect for the law, hate, tattoos, and a god-less society. This is what the Democrats have embraced as a political party. And most of all, Trump sends them off their rails.

  4. Don’t you liberals have nothing better to do than disrupting ant attacking the economy of this great country. Instead of wasting your time with this lunacy of bringing statues of the great people who made this country great and envy of the free world start bringing this country’s economy back so everybody can go back to work and take care of their family.
    It’s disgusting to watch the wrecking of businesses and private residents being reduced to rubble and reading the demands of the radicals wanting everything free, these idiots don give a damn who is going to pay for all this

  5. How about simply giving all the land with its minerals back to the Alaska Natives as well as the American Indians. Destroying a reminder of history does not reverse the wrong. It simply is an inept attempt to remove history. Leave it as a reminder.

    • The lands are developed and economies created and they feel that the very same outcome would have happened if they had been left to them to develop. Alaska would still be in a bone and stone era. 200 years is a short time and with no technology innate to the region, nothing would have changed.

  6. It’s Alaska’s history regardless of what anyone personally thinks, good or bad . . . leave it alone!

  7. I have had enough of this craziness! It is time we take our country back from the criminals and rioters. Oh, maybe they have not destroyed enough yet? I am sure we could find something with any group, company or organization so they can destroy it.
    Wake up America and open your eyes as to what is happening to our Country.

  8. So when does the Democratic party remove itself? After all, they were the party of slavery and the KKK. If we are going to wipe out all reminders of that past….

    • For such a short comment where to begin. Lincoln was a Republican, a Democrat from the time periods you speak of would have values more in line with Republicans today.

  9. Add to this, Senator Sullivan voted for an amendment in the Senate Military and Vet Affair to change the name of 10 Army bases!
    This is beyond revisionism, which the far left has been doing or tried to do over the years. This is wiping out history!
    I’m so pissed off right now I can barely see straight!

  10. Isn’t being part of a tribe and limiting membership based upon race in fact a racist concept? Isn’t the issuance of shares in Native Alaskan Corporations based upon blood quantum in fact a racist concept?
    .
    I demand acceptance into a tribe or tribes of my choosing, I demand to be made a shareholder of any and all Native Alaskan Corporations right now, I was after all born in Alaska, making me a Native Alaskan.
    .
    It’s really getting absurd the degree of racism being spewed by these anti-racist folks.

  11. Another Karen jumping on to the bandwagon!

    Seriously if the statue makes you uncomfortable, don’t look at it? Take the other route with your colleagues and go eat some of that ridiculous anti cop ice cream they offer locally.
    Prbably a safe space table there somewhere.
    We are not residing on the land of any indigenous hosts either thanks very much .
    I would help with a counter petition if there are any wordsmith’s out there to write it effectively.
    If things like this dont get challenged they win by default and that is empowering.

  12. People need learn their history before destroying our American history. Read people read before you destroy our future.

  13. My opinion. Those that would dishonor William H. Seward and demand the commemorative statue of him be removed, deserve to be “removed” from Alaska themselves. If Seward had not followed his idea of Alaska becoming part of America, the “protestors” would be worshipping statues of Lenin and Stalin, to say the least. These protesting idiots are a product of the leftist school system that America has been enduring for several decades. Their “teachers” have been, for many years, anti-American, anti-freedom, pro-communism, and liberal democrats. Not only has the “legal” system betrayed America, that’s nothing compared to what is being taught our youth in the leftist schooling system. Seattle is a perfect example. These new “generations” now ‘protesting’ everything American, have learned their communist lessons at the behest of their “teachers”. Control the education system and you control the country, with each generation “taught” the communist ideas and ideals instead of Americanism.
    Remember in November, Alaskans. Each day, the situation grows more critical against America and, specifically, Alaska.

    • We are not grading on the curve, we are grading to perfection. Never mind that perfection does not exist within humans on plant earth.

  14. The discussion I’ve read is that they’re coming for the statue of Captain Cook in downtown Anchorage and very, very soon.

  15. Change.org has no credibility. The only ones that will take that statue down are the looters.

  16. You petitioners are off the deep end. We don’t need extremism or mob rule in Alaska. Canceling history
    is so commie! Get a grip on yourselves!

  17. Okay then there is no logical reason not to start a petition to give America back to the native people we “stole” it from. Of course then those people will have to give it back to the people they stole it from, and so on and so on, until the only remaining recipient of our shame and apologies are single celled organisms fresh from the primordial ooze.

    Oh but wait! There were rocks here before the primordial ooze! Those rocks were disenfranchised! So target our obsequious mewling to the rocks themselves. That’ll do it.

    Wait! There was a mass of dust and heat before that, that had not yet coalesced into rock! THAT is the substance being disenfranchised! Okay now I feel better. Assuaged of my white guilt.

    Uh oh, what was here before the dust and heat? The Big Bang. But what was here before that?

    I guess God gets our apologies and groveling for disenfranchising him. Now let’s see how the Left write that into a position statement.

  18. As one well know bush pilot once told me, they are only 100 years out of the cave. I told him that I was native and we didn’t live in caves. I do wonder where we would be if Europeans hadn’t come in. Probably speaking Spanish. Wait, we are doing that.

  19. If this insanity isn’t stopped soon America will look like Iraq after isis destroyed much of its historic sites and artifacts. What’s going to be next ??? The Smithsonian??? Lincoln’s memorial?? Lincoln was after all one of those old white men and worst of all a Republican!!!!! In today’s ridiculous political climate you can’t get much worse than that!!!!!!

  20. Idiots that know nothing about what they are advocating for and it deeply offends me that they propose to such a stupid thing. I admit I am not an expert of native history however I have lived here since 1969 and adopted this State that I love.

    My understanding is that Seward bought Alaska from the Russians which greatly improved their situation compared to the treatment of the Russians traders.

    I also understand the it was religious clergy that went into the bush to recruit them for God and committed the most hurtful and harmful treatment of the Native population. They forced them to send their children to religious boarding schools away from their parents. Insisted the natives not speak their own languages and stop raiding and killing members of the different tribes.

    As a result of Seward’s purchase the native population has been taken care of almost completely as wards of the US Federal Government. Housing, jobs, sanitation, health treatment all under the BIA and paid for by US taxpayers. After statehood this has been a shared responsibility of the State and Federal Governments. Both governments have spent billions of dollars helping the natives population in AK.

    After oil was discovered the natives fought for compensation for their lands and as a result the Native Lands Claim Settlement Act gave them title to millions of acres of tribal lands. Billions of dollars have been spent building and improving their lives and villages. They are the only native tribes in the USA that received an entirely new concept of Corporations and self determination. Lower 48 tribes were forced to relocate to areas a and penned up like animals on a reservation. This was and is the fate of all tribes in the lower 48. AK natives also share directly in the wealth provided by the oil fields that is supposed to be shared by all tribes. The North Slope Borough has gone from utter poverty and subsistence lifestyle to the richest of all natives living in AK.

    Today they are being given more and more tribal sovereign and self responsibility than ever before. They are better educated and far more advanced then before Seward purchased AK.

    I believe that they deserved everything they have today. I do not believe that every non-native person living here is responsible for any wrongdoing of the past or that we should all be driven from AK.

    Both our cultures have benefited each other and been rewarded in many ways. No one is more deserving or valuable than any other person.

    I believe that most of the benefits and improvements the Natives have today would have never happened if Seward had not purchased AK and it was still a Russian territory.

    Be happy for we are all blessed by everything we have as a result of living in the greatest State in the USA.
    Leave our history alone for it is already written. Man can change today and the future but we do not have the power to change the past.

    • Well stated sentiments that match my own. The petitioner is hungry for attention, though this pathetic attempt to corrupt another’s reputation of accomplishment reveals a total lack of ambition on her part. It’s lazy morality combined with fuzzy logic and envy. This is an empty attempt to appear “woke,” despite the fact that removing the statue will do zero to improve lives or increase our understanding of the past perspectives we are collectively moving from, so as to promote real equity NOW.

  21. To my knowledge, you can go to change.org and start your own petition. They have a button that says “start a petition”. Looks pretty straightforward.

  22. So the Alaska Chapter of the American Taliban Statue Killers is now officially “woke”.
    .
    Revise Alaska’s history, or Antifa’s gonna turn Juneau into another Autonomous Zone, Seattle style?
    .
    Got news for you little darlings, you can have the whole damned city, but you have to take the legislature too, and you can’t give it back. This is not negotiable.
    .
    Apparently our fledgling Antifites didn’t quite have the chutzpah to hit Seward, inform cranky working stiffs there how things were gonna change namewise.
    .
    Guess that’s coming… hope they don’t forget the “Seward” Highway, maybe rename it Antifa Avenue with shrines every few miles where grateful people can leave money and food…
    .
    Then there’s Anchorage, bums already got their own cop-free zones, maybe Antifites and bums can share no-cop co-ops?
    .
    Could be a beautiful thing
    .
    …unless Deplorables decide otherwise.

  23. BLM is Incorporated as a business so it can be sued…and they funnel money back to the Donkey. Where are the People involved in this nonsense from again?…They aren’t from up in Fairbanks. Just sayin.’
    I wonder if ACLU of Alaska flew them all in just like when ACLU of Alaska flew 100 women from here in Alaska to scream like demons in DC on the doors at the Kavanaugh confirmation. ACLU, BLM, and ANTIFA are all paid opposition by George Soros.

  24. Does anyone really entertain the notion that the Western Hemisphere could have been left alone by the rest of the World? Imagine the 21st century world staying in the East and not entering the West. The Western Hemisphere as fly-over country. Not likely.

  25. Trust me, if Antifa thinks they can do something in Juneau they should pay attention to what happened in Couer d’alene. There are too many of us who won’t put up with it. Enough is enough. And Seward will stay standing.

  26. They are also calling for the destruction of statues of Washington and Jefferson. The hard left hates this country and wants to destroy it. We’re going to have to fight these people. And we’re going to have to deal with those behind the curtain who are supplying the ideology.

  27. With all the upheaval we need to move the Legislature to the road system. How about the BP Building off Northern Lights, since most of the space should be available. It is now showcasing the Hilcorp name as of this week.

    • Moving the building location doesn’t change a thing. It’s the people you vote for that make the difference. And remember, most of them come from your neighborhood.

      • What you say might be true BUT, if they were on the road system we’d all have access to them so we could express to them how we feel about some of these bills they are trying to pass. Our capital being in Juneau is a joke

        • My understanding is you don’t go to the meetings they do hold up there. Many legislators have all echoed that. The only ones that lobby for it are just grandstanding to get your vote. Wake up and smell the coffee. The only thing that would lead to shorter more efficient meetings would be if they had to hold them at Deadhorse.

  28. He was an ardent abolitionist who risked his own well being to aid slaves. Harriet Tubman counted him as one of her greatest allies and supporters. Read one of her biographies,
    but this is a good start:

    worldhistoryproject.org/1859/us-senator-william-seward-sells-harriet-tubman-house-in-auburn-new-york

    [Live link removed by moderator]

  29. This is fun. The wannabe Marxists are a product of our poor education system in Alaska; they cannot read, they take remedial courses at UAS, etc. In any event there is some irony here. In his history of the Taku River during the 19th century the late UAS History professor Wally Olson says that when Hudson Bay had a post near the mouth of the Taku River in the first half of the 19th century fully 60% of the population of what we now call southeast Alaska was slaves of the Tlingit and other local tribes. So Seward ended slavery in at least that part of Alaska by buying Alaska; or at least he tried to do so – the last bastion of socially condoned US slavery may have been in Sitka where there was a federal court case of one Tlingit owning another in the 1920’s. It’s too bad that we are not teaching our young people to read, and I can only hope that the calamity brought to all of us from our poor education system continues to be something about which we can laugh.

  30. The people talking about “preserving history” in these comments must not realize that the statue is less than 10 years old.

  31. Sooooooooo the street? The Holiday? Do we give back Alaska to Russia? Does Russia give AK back to AK natives? Do AK natives give back the land to the birds and the bees? Should the grass yield to the rocks? Sure I’m being sarcastic, but where does it end? Seward’s statue should be celebrated for unifying modern humans. Razing the statue down sends the message that certain racial groups aren’t wanted. It’s 2020. Very sad.

  32. Complete idiocy on parade. If you are that deluded to insist a statue be removed to feed your delusion, you need mental help. Insisting that Seward was a “colonizer”, therefore, complicit in the problems that natives experience is equally nuts. Finally, there are no “indigenous hosts”. If you live in Alaska, you are an Alaskan. If you are native, you are just another Alaskan. Get over it. No one person is any more important or has the right to claim any more say in the state than another. The a– kissing has to stop someday, how about now.

  33. Seward should be viewed as a savior to Native Alaskans. What if Russia would have remained in control. Josef Stalin wasn’t exactly known for his kindness to indigenous peoples. In fact, there are claims his genocide was responsible for more deaths than Hitler himself. Point two, if Alaska was left on its own during WWII how would the Japanese have treated Native Americans? Probably the same we they treated the Chinese, more genocide.

  34. Just to make sure people don’t take silence as complicity, I am trying to start a petition in defense of the statue.

    gopetition.com/petitions/petition-in-defense-of-william-h-seward.html

    [Live link removed by moderator. Links not allowed in comments.]

  35. To know and understand our future, we must accept and embrace our past history. Monuments and memorials dedicated to our founders and past statesmen, recognize and honor those achievements that help create our country.

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