Should Lewis & Clark’s Names & Statues Be Removed?

Once again we are seeing throngs of angry ‘protesters’ tear down, deface, and destroy publicly owned statues and monuments which memorialize national historical figures.

Personally, I think a reasonable argument can be made that it’s inappropriate and offensive to honor Confederate generals who were slave owners by placing their images in the public square.

However there is absolutely no justification for allowing mobs of angry rioters to destroy public property. Period.

The removal of symbols and statues from public property, regardless of the reason for doing so, should be carried out in a legal and orderly manner. Not by mob rule.

Furthermore, once the ‘social justice warriors’ start down the road of The Purge it’s almost impossible to stop it from getting out of hand.

One need look no further than the recent attempted vandalism and ruin of statues honoring American icons George Washington and U.S. Grant to see that common sense has fled and fools have rushed in.

But let’s bring it on home to Great Falls. Why limit the madness to big cities and political controversies in places far removed from right here in River City?

Did you know that Merriweather Lewis and William Clark were both slave owners and that Clark was “…a slave owner known to deal harshly with his slaves” and that “he brought York, one of his slaves, with him” on the expedition?

So let me ask the local gang of ‘social justice warriors’, should we abandon all references to Lewis and Clark here in Great Falls because they were slave owners?

How many statues depicting the Corps of Discovery are you willing to deface and tear down in your mission to erase history and cleanse it of it’s uncomfortable and even brutal realities.

How many plaques and monuments and buildings bearing the names of Lewis and Clark are you going to deface and destroy so you can feel all righteous in carrying out your self-appointed mission?

I don’t really expect any of the Great Falls anti-history crew to actually raise their hands and lead the charge against our L&C heritage here. They seldom, if ever, use their real names, choosing instead to make their demands and issue their manifestos from behind the curtain of anonymity.

After all, a few of them are running for the legislature or have appearances to keep up in Great Falls, so they can’t really let us know who they actually are or what they actually believe.

But they are here and they will carry out their mission if given an opportunity.

Editors note: we’re adding this poll question to Tryon’s piece.

[poll id=”24″]

Posted by Rick Tryon

Rick Tryon is an entrepreneur, a singer-songwriter, and is currently serving a four year term as a Great Falls City Commissioner. Helping Montana become an even greater place to live, play and work is Tryon's passion.

Reader interactions

10 Replies to “Should Lewis & Clark’s Names & Statues Be Removed?”

  1. This is not about Slavery, or police brutality, or anything other than a Maoist attempt to remake, rewrite, remold our society. I respectfully submit that a study of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China and the Oppression of the Kulaks in Russia be required course material for anyone advocating these “changes” and a 30 page dissertation on why or why not we should adopt them required to pass.


  2. Andrea Huttinger June 22, 2020 at 6:26 PM

    When is this nonsense going to stop? Right or wrong these statues are part of our heritage.


  3. Oh, wonderful way to leave a beautifully colored sound bite and slanted poll. The local governments have largely voted to remove Confederate statues in the South. The State legislatures have stepped in and said keep them. Are you for big government? Would you prefer the State make the call? Please, research the matter.


  4. This bull needs to stop, people need to realize if you don’t learn from history it’s going to repete itself. I’m over all the insanity and crybaby crap.


  5. Philip Faccenda, Editor
    Dave Anderson,
    Maybe you should do some research. The National Historic Preservation Act, Section 106, generally prohibits the removal, or alteration of historic monuments. Also the Visual Rights Artists Act, “offers artists grounds to fight against the modification or removal of their work.”Or, we could let the anarchists behave like ISIS’s destruction of Palmyra. President Trump is right when he says “Lock Them Up!


  6. Rick or whatever your real name is,

    You were doing fine with your comment until you started with the “snarky little man” and “grow up” comments. You seem to be under the very mistaken impression that the comment section of this blog is a platform for you to launch personal insults and attacks on contributors, the editor, or other commenters, all from your anonymous little safe space. You are incorrect in that assumption. Last warning.


  7. […] was a poll taken recently, in connection with a previous article regarding the removal of historical statues and monuments, and upon reading the article my first […]


  8. Has anyone actually suggested that the Lewis & Clark statues be “defaced and destroyed”?

    I’ve not seen it in any legit news.


    1. Well here is one story about an Oregon university removing its statue of Clark, York, and a native American after it was vandalized. So it has occurred.

      Have there been calls to do so in Great Falls or Montana that motivated the story here in our little corner of the world? The last statue controversy I remember for Montana was the Confederate monument in Helena.


  9. Not only NO, but, Hell No!!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *