General Stand Watie Monument, Tahlequah, Oklahoma - Cherokee Nation

Stand Watie Monument
Portrait of General Stand Watie
Cherokee National Capitol Building (former)

Dublin Core


General Stand Watie Monument, Tahlequah, Oklahoma - Cherokee Nation


In 1921, the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) unveiled a 13,000-pound granite slab marker honoring Confederate General Stand Watie. [1] Stand Watie was the only Cherokee leader in the Confederate States Army and the last Confederate officer to surrender in the Civil War on June 23, 1865, making him a prominent figure of the Confederacy. [2] The top portion of the granite slab features a bronze relief of General Stand Watie and the bottom half features an inscribed dedication concluding with the phrase “Lest We Forget” – the official motto of the UDC. The monument was erected in front of the county courthouse in Tahlequa, Oklahoma at a time when the property belonged to the state and not the Cherokee nation. [3] It was the second of two confederate monuments within the capitol square to be commissioned by the UDC. The first memorial was a fountain dedicated in 1913 to fallen Cherokee soldiers that served in the Confederate States Army. [4]

In 2017, after the statue of Robert E. Lee was removed in Charlottesville, Virginia in response to the tragic events that took place, the Cherokee Nation confronted Confederate monuments on their own land. Two Confederate monuments were erected before the Cherokee Nation reclaimed the land in 1979 and it was time to rethink their meaning. [5] In June 2020, the Stand Watie Monument was removed from the capitol square, where it had stood for nearly one hundred years, and placed into storage. Cherokee Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in a statement about the decision to remove the monument, “The days of Cherokees leaving it to others to tell our story are over. We have suffered for centuries with others telling our story for us and telling us which people, places and events should be glorified in monuments. I have committed much time and energy to giving our national story back to Cherokees.” [6]


United Daughters of the Confederacy


1. “Cherokee Nation Removes Confederate Monuments from Historic Capitol Square,” Anadisgoi online, June 13, 2020. Accessed December 2, 2021.

2. Pierpaoli, Paul G., Jr. American Civil War: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection, ed. Spencer C. Tucker (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2013), 2091-2092. Accessed December 2, 2021.

3. Rowley, Sean. “Confederate Monuments Erected When Courthouse Was County Building,” August 18, 2017. Accessed December 2, 2021.

4. Melero, Ellie. “Oklahomans Rethink Confederate Monuments Around State,” June 16, 2020. Accessed December 2, 2021.

5. McClelan, Jacob. “As Cities Remove Confederate Monuments, Cherokees Grapple with Civil War Past,” August 31, 2017. Accessed December 2, 2021.

6. "Chief Chat: Why I removed Confederate monuments from the Cherokee Capitol Grounds." Indian Life, July-August 2020, 8. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints. Accessed December 2, 2021.




Monique Corona




Granite Slab


HIST 402A Fall 2021


Tahlequah, Oklahoma