Costs Of The Confederacy: Publicly Funded Monuments Omit History Of Slavery

Dec 12, 2018

A new investigation has found more than $40 million in taxpayer dollars have been spent over the past decade on the maintenance and expansion of Confederate monuments and sites.


A pair of journalists visited more than 50 of those sites and filed 175 open records requests to track public spending. Among these sites were A.H. Stephens State Park in Crawfordville, the Robert Toombs House in Wilkes County and Stone Mountain in Atlanta.

Brian Palmer and Seth Freed Wessler reported "The Costs of the Confederacy" for the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute, which collaborated with Smithsonian Magazine on the story. They joined "On Second Thought" to share their findings.

In their reporting, they found not only a rough estimate of how much public funding goes to upkeep for memorials to the Confederacy, but also how little attention is given to the history of slavery at these sites.

"These are in public spaces, public institutions [and] state parks," said Seth Freed Wessler of Confederate monuments and statues in the South. "If there's public money going to them, it would seem there's an obligation to make sure histories being told in these spaces conform with the facts."

Get in touch with us.

Twitter: @OSTTalk
Facebook: OnSecondThought
Email: OnSecondThought@gpb.org
Phone: 404-500-9457