The Battle of Liberty Place Monument

Stop 3 of 4 in the Battle of Liberty Place tour
Stop 2 of 4 in the Confederate Monuments in New Orleans tour

Just two days after the battle, the Daily Picayune suggested the creation of a monument, and in 1882 the city set aside land for a marker. Finally, in 1891, the monument materialized due to the efforts of a group called the Fourteenth of September Monument Association and the Women's Auxiliary Committee, both of which were founded in 1886. Most of the men in the group were former Confederates, including William J. Behan, who had served as mayor in the 1880s.

On September 14, 1891, the cornerstone for the monument to the White League's dead was laid on Canal Street. The 35-foot-tall obelisk was made of granite from Maine and built by Charles A. Orleans, designer of many ornate tombs in Metairie Cemetery.

On September 15, the stone laying appeared on the front page in the Daily Picayune, which reported a large crowd honoring the surviving White League combatants. The ceremony included the Louisiana militia and military bands as well as several speakers. Such commemorations continued for years, depicting the White Leaguers as heroes and martyrs.

In 1932, the city government appeared to renew its interest in the monument by reconstituting its board of commissioners and adding a new plaque. The commissioners were to be either participants in the battle or their descendants. The new plaque directly linked the monument to white supremacist attitudes, stating,

"McEnery and Penn having been elected governor and lieutenant-governor by the white people were duly installed by this overthrow of carpetbag government, ousting the usurpers, Governor Kellogg (white) and Lieutenant-Governor Antoine (colored). United States troops took over the state government and reinstated the usurpers but the national election of November 1876 recognized white supremacy in the South and gave us our state."

Taken off the street in 1965 because of construction in the area, the monument returned in time for the anniversary of the battle in 1970. Around this time, the typical September 14 ceremony consisted of a wreath laying followed by dinner at Antoine's Restaurant. Speakers at these events included US Representative F. Edward Hebert and New Orleans City Councilman James T. Moreau. Usually, these speakers characterized the battle as a fight against tyranny, downplayed racial tension, and left out the White League's white supremacist motivations.

After a 6-1 vote by the City Council in 2015, this statue was one of four Confederate monuments scheduled to be removed. The marker was removed on April 24, 2017 in the middle of the day. The city’s current plan is for the monuments to be removed and housed in a city-owned warehouse until a more permanent location can be determined.

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