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Alexandria’s Confederate Monument Features Likeness of White Supremacist Attorney General

On the day the local newspaper, the Alexandria Gazette, reported on the dedication of the confederate monument [May 24, 1889], Appomattox, the following “note” appeared on page 3:

“It is said that Mr. Elder, when he painted “Appomattox” from which the statue erected today was designed, took the head of Mr. Raleigh T. Daniel for the model.”

In the presidential election of 1860 Raleigh Travers Daniel supported John Bell, a former Whig and candidate of the Constitutional Union Party. Although Daniel initially opposed secession, he warmly embraced the Confederate cause after the spring of 1861 and in November of that year was a presidential elector for Jefferson Davis. Lacking a record of distinction in the militia and being too old for military service, Daniel did not fight in the Civil War but served instead as commonwealth’s attorney of Richmond.

Daniel gained statewide prominence in the altered political environment after the war. In April 1867 he made a patronizing address before a Richmond meeting of African Americans who were soon to vote for the first time in which he suggested that they follow the advice of the state’s white political leaders.

As attorney general, Daniel refused to enforce laws designed to protect voting rights of recently enfranchised African-Americans.

Portions of this article are attributed, with thanks to Encyclopedia Virginia.