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W&M: James Monroe statue vandalized with 'slave owner' scrawl

srobertsjr@vagazette.com

A statue depicting James Monroe was vandalized with the words “slave owner” written on it in marker.

The James Monroe statue in front of Tucker Hall on the College of William and Mary campus was vandalized on Sept. 29, according to college spokeswoman Erin Zagursky.

A person, who has not been identified as they have not been criminally charged, wrote the words “slave owner” in marker on the statue, Zagursky said in an email.

While the College of William and Mary Police Department have identified a suspect, no criminal charges have been filed as of Monday morning, according to Zagursky.

The writing has been removed, she said.

The statue of Monroe, who attended William and Mary, honors the last founding father to be president, according to the college.

Before the statue’s dedication on April 23, 2015, one of two donors who gifted the depiction of Monroe to the college said the statue depicts Monroe’s life.

“The statue tells the story of James Monroe’s life, and I hope that the students will benefit from that and really feel a sense of pride in their college,” Patty Owens said at the time.

The statue is unique to the college as its pedestal depicts important milestones in Monroe’s life, according to the college.

There is no mention of Monroe’s slaveholding past on the statue or its pedestal.

Monroe owned as many as 250 slaves at one time, according to James Monroe’s official residency, Highland.

Roberts can be reached at 757-604-1329 or on Twitter @SPRobertsJr.

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