BATISTE: Dallas’ Robert E. Lee Monument Re-erected on Texas Golf Course

The city of Dallas’ historic monument of Robert E. Lee is now on display on a golf course in Southern Texas. For 81 years, the monument graced Dallas’ cityscape and now it is re-erected in Black Jack’s Crossing golf course.

Dallas admitted to spending more than $450,000 on the 2017 removal. The city government put the sculpture to auction in June 2019 and the winning bidder, Ronald Holmes, paid $1,434,000 for it. According to the manager of Black Jack’s Crossing, the Lee monument was a gift to the golf course.

From its website, Black Jack’s Crossing was “named after U.S. Army General, “Black Jack” Pershing who pursued Pancho Villa across the Rio Grande, the golf course combines the historical features of the land with the stunning setting of Big Bend National Park. Several breathtaking mountain holes set against spectacular mountain vistas make this course a true work of art.”

A previous Hayride article detailed the origin of General Robert E. Lee and Young Soldier monument. It included its inception and construction by the Dallas Southern Memorial Association between 1928-1936. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke at the unveiling praising Lee (“All over the United States we recognize him as a great leader of men, as a great general. But, also, all over the United States I believe that we recognize him as something much more important than that. We recognize Robert E. Lee as one of our greatest American Christians and one of our greatest American gentlemen.”). And on a city profiting from a beautiful work of famed sculptor Alexander Phimister Proctor intended for public appreciation.

This re-erection on a golf course is a tough one for the preservation crowd. On one hand, the beautiful artwork is on display again. However, the removal is still a slight to the women who spearheaded the campaign in the 1920s and 1930s. The ladies distinguished themselves at a time when their equality was decades away. Now, for all the hard work of these women who raised money and oversaw the building of a masterpiece, the public who was intended to be the recipient no longer has possession.

On the other hand, it did not land on a plantation or in some Alt Left setting with erroneous contextual plaques that historically desecrate Robert E. Lee. And it’s not exposed to physical desecration either.

This situation really demonstrates the instability of American society in the early 21st century. FDR, a hard left president, dedicated the Lee monument when it was put up in Dallas and less than 100 years later it was torn down by Alt Left politicians. This continues to teach the lesson that no one should ever donate to the public good because in a very short time the gift could be commandeered for a completely different purpose than the original intention. While well-intentioned, the donors may be wrongfully labeled in decades to come, convicted in the court of political opinion with what should be considered libel and slander. All monuments and memorials should be erected on private property going forward and all educational donations should be made to historically consistent organizations rather than public or private organizations that bend with the times.

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