Battle of Liberty Place Monument

Battle of Liberty Place Monument
NOLAWhiteLeagueMonumentByTracks.jpg
Monument at its most recent location, 2006
LocationNew Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Completion date1891
Dismantled dateApril 24, 2017

The Battle of Liberty Place Monument is a stone obelisk on an inscribed plinth, formerly on display in New Orleans, in the U.S. state of Louisiana, commemorating the "Battle of Liberty Place", an 1874 attempt by Democratic White League paramilitary organizations to take control of the government of Louisiana from its Reconstruction Era Republican leadership after a disputed gubernatorial election.

Erected in 1891 by a white-dominated city government, the obelisk became the site of protests and rallies by both white supremacists and those who objected to it as a symbol of racism. It was removed in 2017 amid great controversy and threats of violence and was placed in storage.

Background

The 1872 Louisiana gubernatorial election was a particularly contentious contest between Democrat John McEnery and Republican William Pitt Kellogg. In a close contest, Kellogg was declared the winner by outgoing Republican Henry C. Warmoth. Democratic forces in the state legislature succeeded in impeaching Warmoth after this action, and both Kellogg and McEnery claimed victory. Kellogg's win was later certified by the federal government. McEnery and his supporters continued to dispute the result, and in 1874 established a competing legislature. In September 1874, a paramilitary force called the White League entered the city (then the state capital) to forcibly unseat Kellogg. On September 19, they defeated city and state police and militia in the Battle of Liberty Place and occupied government buildings; they withdrew after President Ulysses S. Grant sent federal troops to the city.[1]