Namesake town pushes back against moving Farragut bust

The call to move the bust of Admiral David Farragut from the state Capitol is rubbing residents of his namesake town in East Tennessee the wrong way. As KnoxTNToday’s Betty Bean reports, Farragut was born in Lowe’s Ferry on what was then called the Holston River. He moved away as a child before embarking on a Navy career that later led his home town to be named after him and the high school mascot to be called the Admirals.

According to Bean:

Farragut had a spectacular career. He was the first-ever American admiral (the Navy had theretofore resisted the hoity-toity British-sounding title) and served an astounding 60 years, capped by decisive, Civil War momentum-changing victories in New Orleans and Mobile Bay.

He probably didn’t say, “Damn the torpedoes and full-steam ahead!” after the Rebs sank one of his ships and then took aim at the one he was on, but he said something very like it, and was a key figure in the ultimate Union victory.

Comptroller Justin Wilson successfully amended a motion to move the bust of Forrest, long a controversial figure because of his career as a slave trader and early leader of the Ku Klux Klan,  to also include the busts of Farragut and fellow Admiral Albert Gleaves, who served in the Spanish-American War and World War I.

The State Capitol Commission voted 9-2 to recommend the removal of the busts to the Tennessee Historical Commission. That latter panel can consider amendments to the proposal, but such a move would likely draw out an already lengthy process. Petitions can only be taken up six months after they are received, and the clock resets for any amendments.


11 Responses to Namesake town pushes back against moving Farragut bust

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    Cannoneer2 says:

    Thanks for an article covering something other than Sethi/Hagerty!

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    Eddie White says:

    Could you give us the reactions of Sethi and Hagerty to the removal of the Farragut bust? (Just kidding)

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    Louie Johnston Jr. says:

    What exactly did Farragut ever do for Tennessee? He captured the civil war ship “The Tennessee” fighting against Tennessee that he loathed and never returned to after moving to his beloved Virginia as a child, and his funeral was in New York City of all places. What place in Tennessee history does he have because air sure don’t see it.

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    James White says:

    You know, by removing all these statues, local/state/federal, you are destroying someone’s culture and heritage. Shame.
    Learn from history, don’t deny, destroy, or erase it.

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      Randy Hendon says:

      Right ON- James!!! None of the Busts/Monuments should be removed!!!
      But – Farragut could hardly be considered a Tennessean – still I would not want
      to remove it – Forrest on the other hand was the greatest Warrior in Tennessee
      History and lived in the state for at least 60 years and actually deserves his

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    Susan E Gingrich Patriots Reborn says:

    Shameful time right now in our own history, and that history and patriotism are no longer important or relevant in public and secondary education doesn’t bode well for our future!

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    Frank Gibson says:

    The location of a bust or statue is not part of history. History belongs in museums and libraries. End of piece was a little confusing. Was Justin’s amendment a parliamentary way of delaying removal of Forrest?

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    Eddie White says:

    I don’t quite understand this argument that all statues belong in museums. So a community or state cannot recognize the contributions of someone to that state or community or nation by erecting a statue? Is this just another way of sanitizing history? Is this just another way for the left to force down confederate and other statues they deem offensive. I am sure Mr Gibson would be fine to see confederate Gen Hatton removed from the Lebanon square. Would you also be opposed to Selma, Alabama erecting a statue of John Lewis?

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      MARLE says:

      No one said ALL statues belong in museums except a few fringe folks. See this is where you lose people by inventing a straw man for you to knock down.

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    Eddie White says:

    Gibson did not say “some”, he implied all. You like to play word games and most of the time make little sense.

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