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Cape Girardeau City Council Votes In Favor Of The Removal Of Confederate Monument

Clayton Hester

  The Cape Girardeau City Council voted to move the city’s Confederate Monument in Ivers Square at their meeting yesterday evening. 

The vote was on an ordinance to accept or reject the recommendation by the Historic Preservation Commission that the monument should be removed. The council accepted the measurely nearly in full, but voted to remove a portion of the recommendation that specified that the monument should not be relocated to public land. That portion would have created a complication in case the council acted on ideas like those of Ward 1 council member Dan Presson, who suggested the monument be placed in the Cape River Heritage Museum. 

“I feel as though that would be the best location for it,” Presson said. “The difficulty of that is that is technically a piece of public property.”

The council heard from multiple members of the community, both for and against the removal of the monument from its current location. Ward 2 council member Shelly Moore said she believed the statue should be taken somewhere temporarily until a decision can be made about its eventual location. Moving the monument was a matter of community integrity, Moore said.

“We’re trying to bring unity and not destroy Cape Girardeau, Missouri,” she said. “I know there are some of us in here that love the statue. But there are some of us that don’t.”

The vote was 6 to 1. Ward 4 council member Robbie Guard voted against the recommendation, saying that he wished the ordinance included a “clear cut” place determined to relocate the statue. Guard said he believed the best compromise on the final location of the monument was Lorimier Cemetery.