JDL Dispatch: It ain’t over yet!!! Read all!!!
Sen. Hewes has refused to allow SB2325 out of committee. He does not want to even try to get it placed at our Capitol building.
I spoke with Rick Forte’ Director at Beauvoir, today about the statue. He said he would like to see it at Beauvoir. He stated that he would take the statue that was in the old Presidential Library and now stands on the grounds at the entrance to Beauvoir and place it in the new Presidential Library when completed. He also stated that he would put the new statue where the one of Davis now stands. He also stated that he spoke with Brag Bowling, Chairman of the Statue Committee with IHQ and Brag was supportive of this idea. I must say that I agree and feel that Beauvoir would be the best place. I know Vicksburg would like to have it and Natchez would be a good place also, but, I believe strongly that Beauvoir is the best place from a tourist exposure aspect. Since Rick is also receiving this email he may wish to correct me but the above is the gist of the conversation to the best of my memory.
If we do not hear any major objections I think we should pursue placing the statute at Beauvoir. Of course the final decision will be up to the Mississippi Division Executive Council, the Combined Boards of Beauvoir. and IHQ. I also think we should encourage our Compatriots on the Coast to consider removing Sen. Hewes from office since he obviously does not represent our ideals. However, I will leave that up to the Coast residents because other than this disregard for Southern history he may have done some good things for their area.
Allen Terrell, 3rd Brigade Councilman
Maj. Gen. William T. Martin Camp #590
In God We Trust
Hewes called me back this morning and called Carl Ford too. I wish I had a better way to put this….Carl can correct me if I am wrong. Basically, in his estimation the "fight" isn’t worth it for several reasons " 1. Archives and History Department is against it as it opens the door for our Capitol grounds to become a statuary park, 2. The House won’t pass it, 3. There is already a bust of Jefferson Davis somewhere in the Old Capitol, 4. Vicksburg wants it or should have it (since they don’t have one)."
I was writing as he was talking so I think I got this in the order and close to the words he used.
He also intimated that if ‘we got a statue that others might go out and get one too.
I am not going to take all this up point by point, since I know how we all feel about items 1-4. I don’t mind telling you that the prospect of others wanting to put up their own statues does not offend me one bit. I am more offended that he would think that we would stand against it, if not support it. What has that got to do with us?
Anyway, I like him for other reasons and tried to find a way where he could help direct (show leadership and interest in getting the statue here at all) and was sorely disappointed in his response…which was little enthusiasm and no legislative or administrative advice.
So, I guess the questions become: how long is the door open with the SCV if we miss the boat this time? Who can advise us if there is another path to getting the statue in a public place, Vicksburg, or anyplace else.
It is with deep regret that I send the following message. I just got off the phone with Sen. Billy Hewes of Gulfport and it appears that our best efforts to erect the new Jefferson Davis statue on the State Capitol grounds have come to naught. Unless someone else has some trump card up their sleeve that has yet to be played, I do not believe this project will come to fruition. I do not mean to impugn or malign Sen. Hewes by saying this — he is probably a very good man — but having worked at the Capitol in DC for two years myself (and at the state level, as well), I can say that he is simply being a typical politician. His excuse for not letting the bill out of his committee (which he point-blank stated that he is not going to do) is two-fold: (1.) he says that by allowing us to erect our statue it would "open the door" and set a precedent so that if any group wanted to donate a statue to the state then it would be obligated to accept and place it, thereby turning the State Capitol grounds into a veritable "sculpture garden" and (2.) the bill "doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of passing in the House" and would be "very difficult to pass" in the Senate; he has already "polled the Committee" and they all agree "that it wouldn’t see the light of day" and "would be Dead On Arrival in the House." He also kept trying to put it off (i.e. — pass the buck) on Archives & History saying that it would stand a much better chance of passage with their endorsement and that we should try and get a recommendation from them first. Whether this is all true or not — I myself disagree — the fact was very apparent that the political will power to even pursue it was wholly lacking. In fact, I must add that I was shocked at the completely historically inaccurate statements coming out of the Senator’s mouth (remember, he has Beauvoir in his District — and the quotations herein are verbatim from our conversation a few moments ago) which showed very quickly the degree of interest we were really dealing with. "Well, you know the O ld State Capitol already has a bust of Jefferson Davis in it" he said (it does not, it is the Old Courthouse in Vicksburg that has the bust) and "I think you all ought to erect it at the Old Courthouse in Vicksburg — that’s where all of his greatest military accomplishments were and where he spent his boyhood and all" (his boyhood was spent in Woodville, MS and he never had any military accomplishments to speak of at Vicksburg unless you count planting cotton at Brierfield a martial activity). The tenor of the conversation continued for ten minutes on much these same lines but it was very clear after two minutes that the good Senator from the Coast would not be letting SB 2325 out of the Rules Committee any time soon (he also remarked that he "didn’t even know why it was in his committee" — that it should have gone to Public Buildings & Grounds). I am open to suggestions as to what the next step should be — I still believe the statue should come to Mississippi; however, I disagree with the Senator’s suggestion for placing it at the Old Courthouse Museum in Vicksburg. There IS already a bust of Davis and Varina there, as well as two statues of Davis at the National Military Park. Of course, there is also a statue of him at Beauvoir on the Coast, too. There is no statue of him at Rosemont Plantation — his boyhood home in Woodville, which though privately owned is open for daily public tours (I’m sure the owner, Percival Beacroft, would love to erect it on loan from the SCV there at Rosemont) and there is no statue of him here in Natchez, where he went to school and married local belle Varina Howell and where his political career began. In fact, there is a fantastic location on the bluff overlooking the Mississippi River which would be the perfect spot — forgive my local proclivities, but I think either Natchez or Woodville would be the best alternative sites next to the State Capitol grounds there in Jackson. Please feel free to let me know your thoughts.
Dum Spiro Spero,
Bradley T. Hayes, Esq.
Hayes Law Firm
804 State Street
Natchez, Mississippi 39120
Keep the heat on Hewes!!! The time to act is now!!!
This is not the time for us to burry our heads and move on. The time now is for action against Sen. Billy Hewes who from word is planning to run for Lt. Governor. What needs to be done is a message sent to him a message that lets him know that we will not forget the statue when the time comes for him to seek the office.
We need to also remind him what happened to Musgrove due to the Miss. Flag. I say keep calling his office and let him know how you feel. The bill does not die until Tuesday. I have seen enough pressure over bills that minds were changed and bill made it through. I just do not understand why Hewes did not let the bill go to the floor and out of his hands.
He would have washed his hands of it and let the legislature be in the fire. I for one will email Hewes and call him several times until Tuesday. Please join me in this last ditched effort. I know our chances are slim, but what the heck!!! We are Confederates.
We need everyone that can and will to contact Hewes’ office as soon as possible to let him know you want this bill out of the committee still. The bill number again is SB2325 Sen. Billy Hewes office number in the Senate is 601-359-3209 (Margaret Chambliss will answer the phone) and his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We should also call the Lt. Governor’s office, ask for Benny Nutt at 601 359-3848 and let him know: 1. that you are watching Senate Bill (SB) 2325 and you want Lt. Governor Bryant to do all he can to get this bill to another committee if so to get it to the floor. Please call Monday morning. This is urgent!!!
(Coast members) let him know that if he seeks the office of Senator again you all will vote and work to keep him out of office. Remind him that YOU VOTE TOO!!!
PS: If you committ to this email me with a rebel yell!