The Herald-Leader noted my Aug. 15 speech to the Urban County Council opposing movement of the Breckinridge statue, without quoting my reasons:
1. I advocate for a sculpture honoring downtown Lexington’s abolitionist hero, Cassius Clay, contrasting against Civil War losers on display.
2. Downtown is logically the best place for young people to come to learn lessons from our history, dirty laundry and all, near a museum.
3. The Morgan statue can be moved a short distance to the Hunt-Morgan House.
4. Vets, like me, object to the statues’ relocation to Veterans Park, where we·honor our U.S. military heroes.
5. Except for the Civil War years, John C. Breckinridge’s political accomplishments are unrivaled by any Lexingtonian: youngest vice president, congressman and runner-up in the 1860 Electoral College.
6. In 1861 President Abraham Lincoln unlawfully sought arrest of anti-war then-senator Breckinridge. Fleeing, he became a successful rebel major general.
Appointed secretary of war for the Confederacy in 1864, he argued for immediate surrender, which might have saved 100,000-plus lives and untold misery. Exiled after the war, our government invited him home to Lexington as a model of reconciliation, speaking out against the evils of the Klu Klux Klan.