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The Lincoln statue in Chicago’s Edgewater Park is defaced

A statue of a young Abraham Lincoln was splattered with red paint on Thanksgiving Day with the words “COLONIZER” and “THE EARTH WILL RETURN!” written under it in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood.

Vandals also reportedly wrote “Dakota 38,” referring to the 38 Dakota Sioux executed on Lincoln’s orders after the American-Dakota War of 1862, also known as the Sioux Rebellion.

It was the second time in recent memory that a Lincoln statue has been damaged in Chicago. In October, a statue of the former president was defaced with a similar message in Lincoln Park.

The inscriptions on the ground have been removed and the statue was expected to be removed Monday, Chicago Park District spokeswoman Michelle Lemons wrote in an email to the Tribune. The incident was reported to the Park police.

In 2020, police and protesters clashed over a statue of Christopher Columbus, which was later removed. In August recommended by the city commission a series of new public memorials and the removal of several statues for celebrating white supremacy or disrespecting Native Americans. The commission recommended further inspection of the young Lincoln statue as part of the tribute to be revised or add narrative.

The latest dispute refers to the Sioux Rebellion of 1862, when, after being driven from their land and suffering from starvation, the Sioux attacked and killed hundreds of settlers, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica. A military commission sentenced 303 Dakota soldiers to death. Lincoln authorized the hanging of 38 people in Minnesota in the largest mass execution in US history.

Chicago police said no arrests have been made, but detectives are investigating. In 1997, the city donated to St. Park a statue of Young Lincoln by sculptor Charles Keck.


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