Statue of Oliver Cromwell, Westminster
Editorial Comment from the Writer:
Recently statues and other relics of various figures have been taken down or destroyed. These have included Chief Justce Roger B. Taney, President Wilson and others. There have been calls by environmentalists for the
removal of Nelson's Column, Eros in Piccadily, and Winston Churchill. There has been a call for the removal of an image of
Cecil John Rhodes at Oxford (the University declined). Others have wanted the removal of a statue of
Air Marshal Sir Arthur Harris (He bombed the "H" out of the Nazis). There was one suggestion (perhaps facitious) that
images of Richard the Lion Hearted should be expunged (he killed Muslims). Environmentalists called for the removal of Sherlock Holmes on Baker Street (he poluted the air by smoking a pipe).
There were calls for removal of a statue of Sam Houston in Texas (perhaps unknown to those who called for the removal, Houston actually opposed
secession). A memorial was removed from a cemetery in Florida. There have been calls for the removal
of a memorial from over one former Confederate soldier's grave. General Sherman actually arranged for the
soldier's employment after the war.
The other day, the writer was catching up on old unread newspapers. I passed over ads from the Cody Trading Company for
Waklee’s Gopher and Prairie Dog Poison, and other ads for Lydia Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound., I was looking to see what had happened to
Hilda Ahlstom and Mary Kramer who had been detained by the Sheriff as they were boarding a train for Denver.
They were suspects in the mysterious 1902 death of former saloonist
Richard A. Roth who was found dying in convulsions after riding the previous day with the two ladies. Arsenical poisoning was suspected.
Roth in addition to formerly running a saloon was the Secretary of his fraternal Lodge. In reading the [Cody] Wyoming Dispatch, June 27, 1902, page 2.
I came across an editorial entitled “Robert E. Lee" which was a reprint of an editorial from the New York World. The World was in agreement with its rival the Tribune. The editorials agreed with comments by noted writer Charles Francis Adams.
Adams comments were entitled “Shall Oliver Cromwell Have a Statue?” Beginning as early as 1860, debates raged across the Empire as far away as Australia (See Maitland [N.S.W] mercury and Hunter River General Advertizer, Oct. 19, 1871, p. 4)
and indeed continue to rage today as to a statue of Cromwell. Cromwell was regarded by some as having committed war crimes, religious persecution and ethnic cleansing on a dramatic scale against Catholics in Ireland.
In 1899, an anonymous, privately funded statue of the Lord Protector was placed in the garden next to Parliament Square in Westminster.
In 2004, a bill was introduced in Commons to take down the statue and melt it. The debate continues.
Adams' comments in 1902 have relevance today. They may be read at:
Shall Oliver Cromwell Have a Statue?
Please note that the writer has no "dog in the fight." His ancestors did not fight in the Civil War but did fight under Wellington against
Napoleon. Nevertheless, recent actions, denoted as political correctness, constitute, in his opinion,
a direct attack on freedom of speech. Today, we may not honor our ancestors and speak kindly of them without our expressions
being unmercifully torn down and defiled. I personally do not like Oliver Cromwell, but I would never suggest that his statue be torn down and sent off to the smelter.
Cromwell was just as despotic as Charles I. Nor do I suggest,
as others have, that the statue of Lenin in Seattle be removed. People paid for those monuments. They were not paid for
with governmental funds and removing them amount to direct theft.