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Local historian among those opposed to Williams Burns memorial proposal

July 20th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

A recent request for support for a marker and memorial for a black man who was killed at the hands of an angry mob in 1907 in Allegany County has drawn some push back from the community. Two weeks ago, Carmen Jackson, president of the Allegany County branch of the NAACP, approached the County Commissioners seeking support create a monument for William Burns- an African-American laborer who died at the hands of an angry mob in 1907.  Burns, according to reports was taken into custody after an altercation at a bar with a police officer. Upon learning that the officer had died as a result- a large crowd gathered, stormed the court house, dragged Burns from the building and shot him to death. Ed Taylor, president of the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization, has been involved in similar disputes in the past including debates over the confederate flag that once was displayed in Cumberland’s City Hall- and more recently efforts to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from in front of the Court House. Taylor tells WCBC News while Burns deserved the opportunity for a fair trial- he can’t see how anyone would support erecting a statue or monument in his honor…

16 Responses to “Local historian among those opposed to Williams Burns memorial proposal”

  1. July 20, 2020 at 8:03 am, Virgil said:

    If anyone deserves a monument it’s the officer murdered by Mr Burns


  2. July 20, 2020 at 10:00 am, Kevin said:

    So, as usual Taylor has no problem with monuments to soldiers who fought to enslave people, based on their race, may have engaged in the slaughter of African soldiers who fought them rather than take them prisoner as they did with white troops. I’m shocked, shocked I tell you.


    • July 20, 2020 at 5:50 pm, Jay said:

      Calling Ed Taylor a historian is laughable.


  3. July 20, 2020 at 11:25 am, Carolyn said:

    People get your facts straight. The Cumberland Cemetery Historical Society had honored numerous Black Cemeteries, they have placed monuments on Black graves, THEY do NOT distinguish if your black, white, or polkadot. People are people, Does’t matter what color or religion.
    Little history, Blacks actually sold blacks to traders in Africa. It’s over but its history. Stop this inflammatory behavior. We recognize the past and it can’t be changed and have moved on. And if anyone is interested where the Cemetery Group has reconstructed and put monuments, don’t hesitate to contact Mr. Taylor he’ll be glad to show you.


    • July 20, 2020 at 11:48 am, Kevin said:

      > My facts are straight. No one in the Confederacy deserves the attention Mr. Taylor and his organization have lavished on them. These were evil people. They took up arms against the U.S. What other people did in other countries is not even the point.


      • July 20, 2020 at 2:28 pm, LRH said:

        > That my friend is YOUR opinion. Glad we are ALL entitled to our own.


        • July 20, 2020 at 3:41 pm, Ken said:

          Glad that I share the same opinion as Kevin and ashamed that the county government gives Taylor and his group funding for these revisionist history monuments. He claims the civil war was not for slavery but states rights, but time over time educated scholars state that this revision of history was a product of the 1920s KKK revision of the history of the Confederacy. I’d ask Taylor and the rest of his Klan to please use his county and city money to do something to highlight the Union solders in Rose Hill and other cemeteries in our area. Maryland a proud union state should promote those soldiers who fought for our country and not against it.


    • July 20, 2020 at 5:40 pm, Jay said:

      Yes Carloyn, Africans sold Africans to traders. What difference does that make? Traders who brought many of the sold folk to America against their will.


  4. July 20, 2020 at 5:15 pm, Carolyn said:

    Our you aware that slavery was not the only reason the Civil War occurred. Think something like the North was screwing the South on their cotton, tobacco and etc.
    And check out there have been markers and restoration on Union graves…Your so wrong. Rose Hill has a big Union statue at the top. But also what about Lincoln. He made the remark blacks and white will never like in harmony. Before he was assassinated he was making arrangement to sent all the black people out of the US to other countries…check that out in you history book if you have one.
    NOW is the time to recognize the sins of the past and move on learning from the past.


    • July 20, 2020 at 5:38 pm, Jay said:

      Sorry Carolyn, the Civil War was over the southern state’s right to maintain the institution of slavery. If it were not for slavery the war would not have occurred.


  5. July 20, 2020 at 7:11 pm, Carolyn said:

    Hey Jay….it was ok for blacks to sell blacks. That made them as bad if not worse turning on their own people.


    • July 20, 2020 at 7:45 pm, Kevin said:

      > People in other nations do many things we do not condone. It is an issue when we do it here. duh. The Civil War was only about slavery – after Lincoln was elected the South was anticipating a war no one had planned. They attacked Fort Sumter. The issue was slavery. The Confederacy was a seditious organization that existed to save slavery. That was the only right in question. All the states that tried to leave stated as such at the time. They still teach this on public schools. Really! Ask a kid!


    • July 20, 2020 at 8:34 pm, Jay said:

      As stated earlier, what difference does it make in terms of who sold who? Humans are not property, although the Confederacy thought they were.


  6. July 20, 2020 at 7:50 pm, David said:

    I wish life was as simple as some people think it is. If some one doesn’t agree with you they were “evil people” and you know what those who lived 150 years ago were thinking and their reasoning. Do you think that the one million soldiers that fought for the south were all slave owners or that all the union soldiers were abolitionist? No way am I defending slavery. I am a Christian, remember we were in the forefront of the abolition movement. God tells us in the Bible there are no favorites in His eyes. Unlike the Godless communist that are in the leadership of some groups today. The south is condemned for their use of slaves and rightly so, but nothing we do now will change that. How come I never hear of people condemning Planed Parenthood? It was started by Margaret Sanger who thought we should rid the world of “genetically inferior races”. One thousand black babies are killed each DAY, sort of overwhelms the carnage of slavery and it’s going on today and something we can do something about. But I guess THOSE black lives DON’T matter.


    • July 20, 2020 at 8:38 pm, Jay said:

      I can’t say I believe in or favor abortion but I don’t think Roe V Wade should be overturned. If at some point it is overturned, the legality of abortion will be relegated to the states and in my view, that will be a worse situation than we have now.


      • July 21, 2020 at 12:08 am, David said:

        Just a thought Jay, All the Supreme Court has to do is recognize unborn babies as persons with the full rights of a US citizen and the problems concerning state abortion laws would be a mute point. Maybe you won’t agree with me, but what is the difference between slavery being justified by the court because they (slaves) did not have the same rights as whites, or Native Americans not treated the same because they were not equal and with the treatment of the unborn? The lack of equality as citizens allows them to be treated unequally. If we all agree that the way the American Indian and the slaves in the south were treated was wrong how can abortion be ok? I’m not looking to fight here, just a civil discussion. If a woman has a right to kill or not to kill her baby because it’s her property (body) how could it be wrong for one person to own another? I don’t see the difference. I hope and pray the day will come when people will look back on these times and ask, how could they have let this happen? Just as we say about slavery. I hope soon.


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