Chicago, IL

Abraham Lincoln statues in Chicago are being defaced

Jennifer Geer

For the second time since October, an Abraham Lincoln statue in Chicago was splashed with red paint and covered with graffiti.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, a statue of young Abraham Lincoln that sits in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood was splashed with red paint. The words “COLONIZER” and “LAND BACK!” were written at the base of the statue.

It's the second time since October that a Lincoln statue in Chicago has been defaced. On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the Abraham Lincoln statue in Lincoln Park was covered with red paint, and the words “Dethrone the Colonizers,” “Land Back!” and “Avenge the Dakota 38" were written at the base.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the statues were cleaned and the writings removed.

Sioux Uprising of 1862

Dakota 38 refers to the Sioux Uprising of 1862. During this time, the Sioux were forced off of their lands, and suffering starvation, they attacked and killed hundreds of settlers in retaliation.

Over 300 Dakota warriors were captured and sentenced to be executed. Lincoln spared the lives of most of the men, but he ordered the execution of 38 of the fighters.

At the time, the president was advised he would receive more support for his reelection bid if he hung all 303 of the Dakota men. According to the University of Illinois Springfield, Lincoln said, "I could not afford to hang men for votes."

Protestors claimed to be "resistors of colonial violence"

After the defacing of the Lincoln Park statue in October, a group of anonymous protestors issued a statement claiming credit for the vandalism and calling themselves “resistors of colonial violence.”

The Chicago SunTimes reported the statement from the protestors said, “Lincoln chose to execute the Dakota 38 to cater to white settler communities’ demands for racist violence."

The Lincoln Park statue

The Lincoln Park statue is one of the oldest monuments in Chicago. Designed in 1887 by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, it is located in the Lincoln Gardens.

According to Choose Chicago, the statue "has been described as the most important sculpture of Lincoln from the 19th century."

Young Abraham Lincoln statue

The statue of a young Abraham Lincoln in Senn Park in the Edgewater neighborhood was completed in 1945 by Sculptor Charles Keck and installed in the park in 1997.

The sculpture depicts a young barefooted Abraham Lincoln sitting on a tree stump with a book in his lap.

According to the Chicago Tribune, police do not have anyone in custody but are investigating.

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Jennifer covers lifestyle content and local news for the Chicago area. New articles published each weekday.

Chicago, IL
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