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Harrison County Commissioners continue to hear from community about Stonewall Jackson statue

Community organizations are beginning to voice their opinions on the removal of a Stonewall Jackson statue on the steps of the courthouse.
Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 6:57 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) -

No vote was on the agenda for Harrison County Commissioners, but the public in attendance were focused on the statue sitting outside the county courthouse depicting Confederate General Stonewall Jackson.

Most of the residents who voiced their opinions Wednesday advocated for the removal of the statue.

“It is our hope that Harrison County will lead ensuring our state and the country that our county does not tolerate or give safe harbor to hatred and oppression,” said James Griffin, President of the WV Black Heritage Festival Board of Directors.

Griffin and another member of the board addressed commissioners after public comment.

“We had seen that it was going to be on the agenda previously, but we wanted to wait and see what would happen. After they took a vote, we decided to come and say something about it,” said Griffin.

But the board was not the only community group voicing their opinions during the commission meeting.

“As a museum society, we decided we would like to be involved in the conversation,” said Michael Spatafore, President of the Clarkburg History Museum.

He attended Wednesday’s commission meeting over Zoom.

“Stonewall Jackson is probably our most famous Clarksburger. He was born here in January 1824 and lived in Clarksburg probably until, there’s a debate, probably until he was between seven and ten years old,” said Spatafore.

He says they will follow the decisions made by the commission. If commissioners decide to remove the statue, one of the options discussed was to house it in the Stonewall Jackson section of the museum.

“As the museum committee, we want to tell the whole story about that statue whether it stays there or moves into the museum or another location. We would like to tell the whole story behind it,” said Spatafore.

There is no vote scheduled for the county commission as of the time of publication.

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