Damnatio Memoriae: Dallas Thinking About Expunging Franklin, Jefferson, and Houston


From the Dallas Morning News:

Houston, Franklin and Jefferson are among Dallas ISD campuses that ‘require further research’ for possible name changes

Corbett Smith, Staff Writer

Dallas ISD [Independent School District] is researching the histories of Ben Franklin, Sam Houston, Thomas Jefferson and 17 other historical figures, looking into whether their connections with slavery or the Confederacy should prompt reconsideration of their names on DISD campuses.

Last Thursday, DISD administration recommended changing the names of four schools honoring Confederate generals: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston and William L. Cabell elementary schools. During that discussion, it was mentioned that there is a much broader list of at least 21 names that bear further investigation, if trustees were compelled to do so.

“This was just a very quick review of looking at the biographies of the individuals,” DISD chief of school leadership Stephanie Elizalde told trustees on Sept. 14. “And if there was any association with Confederacy — not making a judgment for or against — just if we saw Confederacy named in it, we then highlighted it. We are now in the process of doing a second [look].”

The Dallas Morning News has obtained a copy of that list, which includes Texas revolutionaries and founders such as Sam Houston, James Bowie and William Travis, U.S. presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, and Dallas pioneers James Gaston and William Brown Miller.

Elizalde acknowledged to trustees the difficulty in drawing a line on where to proceed.

Wait until they find out that Franklin’s most epochal contribution to economic and biological theory, his 1754 essay Observations Concerning the Increase in Mankind, was an anti-immigration pamphlet.

[Comment at Unz.com]