Protesters pulled down a statue of Charles Linn, a captain in the Confederate Navy, and forced the city to remove the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument of which it was a part.
Charles Linn was a Swedish-speaking Finn who settled in Montgomery, AL in 1838. He volunteered as a sea captain with the Confederate Navy.1
A bronze statue of Linn accompanied a 52-foot-tall stone obelisk, forming the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Birmingham, AL, a city founded six years after the end of the Confederacy. A cornerstone was laid at the site during an 1894 Reunion of United Confederate Veterans.2 In 1905, after five years of fundraising by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the completed monument was unveiled in Linn Park (formerly Capitol Park).3
Protestors toppled the statue of Linn on the evening of 31 May 2020 as part of protests against systemic racism and police brutality. The protests were prompted by the 25 May murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN. As some of the protestors attempted to tear down the adjacent stone obelisk, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin pledged to remove the monument within a day.4 The following evening, on the 212th birthday of Jefferson Davis – slaver and President of the Confederate States – municipal workers began the process of taking down the obelisk.5