WESTON, W.Va. – Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum representatives are bidding on the Stonewall Jackson statue in hopes to relocate it outside of the Civil War section.
The Weston City Manager and President of Historic Landmarks joined the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (TALA) and created a proposal to present to the Weston City Council (WCC) about the steps they would take together to acquire the statue and place it at the asylum.
The Weston City Council held a meeting on Oct. 14 where they were presented the proposal and members made a motion to reject the proposal, which passed by a vote of 3-1. The vote in favor of relocation of the statue felt that obtaining the statue would help the community to have the conversation about racism and white supremacy.
Other city officials and community members felt that relocating the statue would send the wrong message to the community.
“They were more concerned about the direction we were headed as a city. They felt that we had very positive momentum going on, and they didn’t want to cause division by bringing the statue here. They also didn’t feel like we had the manpower if there was a riot or large demonstration,” said Nate Stansberry, Weston City Manager.
Rebecca Jordan-Gleason is the operations manager at TALA, and she believes that they would be able to successfully share the truth about the history that surrounds the Stonewall Jackson statue.
“Because we’re able to bring to life the history of this facility, we are absolutely confident we can bring to life not only the good, but the bad and the ugly of Stonewall Jackson. We basically want to have the conversations here about racism that we have about mental health, the treatments, the illness itself and how it has impacted this community,” said Jordan-Gleason.
If the WCC had worked with asylum, they would have had the statue donated from Virginia to the city, only paying relocation costs. Since the city of Weston was successful in its motion to deny the proposal, TALA submitted its own proposal along with a bid for the statue and would have to cover the cost of relocation to the asylum.