1. The Construction of Monument Avenue

Statue of Robert E. Lee
Monument Avenue Postcard
Confederate Veterans Reunion

Dublin Core


1. The Construction of Monument Avenue


The origin and dedication of the statues on Monument Avenue.


During the post-Civil War era, conservative Democrats in the South attempted to revive the fading passions for the Lost Cause. Robert E. Lee’s nephew, Fitzhugh Lee, led the charge to create the Lee Monument Association in 1886. In May 1890 the dedication of the Robert E. Lee monument was timed to coincide with a massive Confederate veterans’ reunion which drew fifty former Confederate generals, fifteen thousand uniformed Confederate veterans, and more than one hundred thousand onlookers. Following the dedication and placement of the Lee monument, statues to both General J.E.B Stuart and the Confederate States President Jefferson Davis followed in 1907. The monument to Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson statue was placed and dedicated in 1919, followed a decade later by the statue dedicated to Matthew Fontaine Maury.

An ominous new era of white supremacy had dawned which would last for seven decades, where Edwin J. Slipek stated that Monument Avenue was “more than a Confederate Valhalla.” The construction of Monument Avenue successfully revived the Lost Cause by drawing massive support across the Southern states for whites who touted their Confederate ancestry. Growing power among Southern whites forced African Americans to endure a new kind of abuse, both socially and politically, for another six decades. The success of Monument Avenue represented one of many examples of the revival of the Lost Cause narrative.


Baker, Donald P. “Richmond's Monumental Centennial Celebration;The Statue That Shaped the Grand Avenue.” The Washington Post, Washington D.C. 04 May. 1990.

Edwards, Kathy, and Esmé Howard. “Monument Avenue: The Architecture of Consensus in the New South, 1890-1930.” Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture, vol. 6, 1997, pp. 92–110. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3514365. Accessed 14 Dec. 2020.

Lawler, Andrew. “The Origin Story of Monument Avenue, America’s Most Controversial Street.” National Geographic. 27 Jul. 2020




Yuan Chiang , Monique Garcia, and Kareem Khaled




Historic Avenue with Statues


HIST 402A - Fall 2020, Fall 2021, and Fall 2023


Richmond, Virginia