Philip Schuyler statue to be removed from downtown Albany
Albany, N.Y., Mayor Kathy Sheehan (D) announced this week that she has signed an executive order to remove a statue of Maj. Gen. Philip Schuyler from the city.
Sheehan announced the order on Thursday, tweeting that Schuyler was “reportedly the largest owner of enslaved people in Albany during his time.”
“Scores of community members have reached out to my office requesting the removal of the statue,” Sheehan said in a statement.
The statue, which is in front of city hall, will be given to a “museum or other institution for future display with appropriate historical context,” according to a statement from the city. It will be removed “as soon as possible.”
BREAKING: Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan has ordered the removal of the statue of Maj. Gen. Philip Schuyler. He served in the Revolutionary War, and was reportedly the largest slave owner of his time. https://t.co/w5e9UrUCGb
— CBS 6 Albany – WRGB (@CBS6Albany) June 11, 2020
Schuyler was a prominent 18th century figure in the U.S. who served as a military commander in the Revolutionary War, was a member of the Continental Congress and held public office as a U.S. senator.
“The removal of the Philip Schuyler statue does not reform systems or eliminate the racism institutionalized in these systems locally and nationally,” Chief City Auditor Dorcey Applyrs said in the Thursday statement. “However, it symbolically demonstrates an acknowledgement that slavery was wrong. The removal of this statue also acknowledges the horrific and negative implications of slavery and its impact on the lives of Black Americans in the City of Albany every day.”
The removal comes amid nationwide protests over police brutality following the death of George Floyd in police custody after an officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck as Floyd told him he couldn’t breathe. The demonstrations have sparked calls to remove other statues, including those of Confederate generals.
Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) this week introduced legislation that would remove the remaining Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol.
Some state leaders have said they will order the removal of certain statues. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said last week that a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee will be removed from Richmond. In other places, protesters have torn down or defaced monuments honoring Christopher Columbus.