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Scarsdale, NY church removes UDC plaque and footstone

A church graveyard with spring flowers (St. James the Less in Scarsdale, New York)

Scarsdale, NY church removes UDC plaque and footstone

plaqueRacial reconciliation in the wider church came home to St. James the Less in Scarsdale, NY, with the recent removal of United Daughters of the Confederacy markers from the gravesite of Leonora Schuyler. Schuyler was president general of the UDC during the early 1920s, and several other confederate monuments in the north were likely placed during her tenure.

Years after her death in 1952, UDC placed a commemorative plaque and footstone at Schuyler’s gravesite in the St. James the Less graveyard. The Rev. Astrid Storm, rector of the church, noted in a statement, “It’s well-established practice in Episcopal graveyards not to allow memorials of overt social or political advocacy, even given clear evidence of the decedents’s desire,” which isn’t apparent in this case, and the placement by the UDC was “in direct contravention of our established rules, which permit only the plot’s owner to erect anything on the site.”

The plaque was removed earlier this spring, and the footstone will require professional removal. The markers will be stored in the church archives.

The news story covering this, “Church removes plaque, footstone to affirm racial justice,” is behind a paywall.


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Joan R. Gundersen

Actually the woman in question died December 8, 1952 and the Daughters of Confederacy plaque must have been added almost immediately. There is a New York Time obituary for her dated December 9, 1952 (p.33). It is likely that she would have been pleased to have the plaque on her grave. Nonetheless, she was a person who actively worked to create the racist version of the Civil War that is rightfully being challenged. The church did the right thing by preserving the plaque in their archives.

Fred Loving

Not sure about New York law . In Virginia state law forbids removal of markers from gravesites . Members of the UDC as well as Sons of Confederate Veterans are beside you in the pews . Lately we have been wondering if we are actually welcome there .

John Chilton

What Virginia law?

It’s not surprising members of UDC and SOCV are beside us in Virginia pews. But posting of their propaganda on church property is not welcome.

Fred Loving

18.2-127 Code of Virginia.

John Chilton

That’s about vandalism, not about what a church may do.

Fred Loving

This is the section my Commonwealth Attorney sent me when I inquied on this a while back , should apply to any grave .

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