Confederate plaque removed from Montreal's Bay store
Published Tuesday, August 15, 2017 8:28PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 16, 2017 7:21PM EDT
The Hudson's Bay Company says it has removed a confederate plaque from its Montreal store.
The plaque commemorates Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States during the American Civil War and a wealthy slave owner from Mississippi.
“He was a staunch defender of slavery, a staunch defender of white supremacy who continued to believe in the righteousness of those ideas long after the war,” said Leonard Moore, a specialist in United States social and political history at McGill University.
The plaque was on the outside of the downtown store on the wall facing Union St. back when it was a Morgan's department store.
It was placed there in the memory of Davis, who in 1867, lived in a home belonging to John Lovell and once stood at that spot.
Davis lived in Montreal upon his released from jail after the Confederacy was defeated.
In 1957, a group known as the United Daughters of Confederacy erected the plaque marking Davis’s presence in this city
Complaints about the plaque surfaced following this weekend's events in Charlottesville, Va., where a ‘Unite the Right’ rally to protect a statue of Civil War General Robert E. Lee led to violence and white supremacist imagery, including Nazi flags and salutes. One woman was killed and 19 were injured when a car rammed through a crowd of anti-racist protesters.
The Bay removed the plaque Tuesday night.
Confederate monuments are meeting the same fate in many parts of the U.S. Overnight in Baltimore, four statues, including one of Robert E. Lee were removed.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said they needed to come down.
“I think any city that has Confederate statues are concerned about violence occurring in their city,” she said.
And now, many other tributes are being looked at, including another plaque outside the Bank of Montreal building in Old Montreal, which reads "near this square, the founders of Ville-Marie first encountered the Iroquois, whom they defeated. Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve killed the chief with his own hands."