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The 'Columbus' Last Appeal to Queen Isabella' statue in the Capitol rotunda. (Photo: public domain)

Removal of Columbus Statue in CA Capitol Begins

‘Columbus’ Last Appeal to Queen Isabella’ was gifted to California by gold rush banker Darius Ogden Mills in 1883

By Katy Grimes, June 25, 2020 3:56 pm

California Senator Mike Morrell took this video Thursday and sent it to California Globe of the start of the removal of the beautiful Christopher Columbus statue in the State Capitol Rotunda.

Politicians attempting to erase history

Democratic Senate and Assembly leaders in Sacramento announced that the statue of Christopher Columbus and Queen Isabella in the State Capitol Rotunda would be removed, California Globe reported last week.

“Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), and Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) named Columbus’ genocidal past as the reason for removal of the Columbus and Queen Isabella statue in a joint statement.”

“Christopher Columbus is a deeply polarizing historical figure given the deadly impact his arrival in this hemisphere had on indigenous populations,” said the Lawmakers. “The continued presence of this statue in California’s Capitol, where it has been since 1883, is completely out of place today. It will be removed.”

If Columbus had not discovered America, none of us would be here today.

The statue, “‘Columbus’ Last Appeal to Queen Isabella,” was gifted to California by gold rush banker Darius Ogden Mills in 1883. It sat almost entirely uninterrupted in the Capitol rotunda since then.

Alex Vassar with the California State Library provided this information to California Globe:

In 1981, as the State Capitol was in the process of being restored, the statue was removed temporarily to a State Office Building across the street. From what I’ve read, several members of the Mills family suggested that it be returned to the family if the state no longer wished to display it.

From an article in the San Bernardino Sun (10 December 1981):

“The statue, which weighs several tons and has been appraised at $500,000, was donated to the state by Sacramento banker Darius Ogden Mills – no relation to Sen. Mills – on the condition it be displayed in the Capitol. One of D.O. Mills’ nephews has warned the restoration committee that he’ll try to reclaim the statue if the state won’t put it back in the rotunda. “It could go in my living room, I guess,” said James Mills, a retired Orange County merchant, who is no relation to the senator.

California Globe attempted to contact Ogden Phipps II, the great-great-great-grandson of Darius Ogden Mills, who donated the statue in 1883, but did not hear back from him.

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12 thoughts on “Removal of Columbus Statue in CA Capitol Begins

  1. This is so sad. Please reconsider. Why is there a refusal to look at the whole picture? I don’t think any one of you who wants this removed would survive such a judgment applied to yourself.
    This is not right. On some level you who are condemning this statue must know that.
    Where are the adults in the legislature? Can this be stopped?
    What a beautiful work of art.

  2. Wait a minute—I just saw the headline next door to this story:
    “Senate Passes Amendment Granting Voting Rights to Felons on Parole”
    So if you celebrate criminal behavior, or at least tolerate it (but I actually think you celebrate it), why don’t you celebrate what you have proclaimed without discussion, debate, or trial as Columbus’ criminal behavior, or at least tolerate it? For the sake of the bigger untold story?

    1. Showandtell – I can understand the reasons for being upset that the statue is being removed from the rotunda, but your argument about voting rights for parolees doesn’t make sense. The Senate isn’t “celebrating” or even “tolerating” criminal behavior by allowing American citizens who happen to have committed a crime to vote. These people are on parole, they are/have paid a penalty for their crime. Allowing them a constitutional right to vote does not mean that their criminal behavior is tolerated. So, go ahead and oppose the removal of this statue. That’s fine. Honestly it is. But you’re gonna have to do better than this at trying to prove your point.

      1. Why? There’s no need for rioters in DC to “do better” in explaining why they want to tear down Lincoln’s statue. I’m afraid YOU’LL have to do better

      2. Troy: Are you willing to disclose what is your stake in current de-criminalization efforts? Do you deny there are such efforts? And that the goal of such efforts appears to be a “favor” to a convict in exchange for a Democrat vote? Or in exchange for hanging a jury in a murder trial? Or who knows what, such as adding another X-factor to California societal chaos?

        First of all, a criminal has not paid his debt to society or “done his time” until he has completed parole. (Such as it is, which may no longer be rigorous or accountable as it once was.) Second, one of the things we have long determined in American society is that a person who chooses to engage in felony criminal activity (not “an American citizen who happens to commit a crime” as you put it) loses certain rights forever such as voting, serving on juries, possession of firearms, etc.

        A felony is a serious matter for which, in a civilized society, there must be consequences. In addition, all such crimes have victims, many of whom through no fault of their own are traumatized for life as well as their families. What about them? Do you have compassion for them? Do they deserve justice?

        The public is well aware that in California there has been a push for many years by Democrats for “de-carceration.” Witness some 7,000 convicts released under flimsy cover of COVID19 in recent months, the second batch let out in spite of a court ruling disallowing it. We’ve seen non-stop efforts to reduce criminal penalties, change felonies to misdemeanors, reduce sentences, release convicts early, close prisons, block deportation of illegal immigrants who have committed serious and violent crimes, erase criminal records, install D.A.s who refuse to prosecute, pass legislation that legalizes murder, rape, and arson (AB 1810), etc.

        These efforts serve to protect the public and keep them safe how, exactly?

        This looks like a celebration of criminal activity (vs. non-criminal activity) to me — or at the very least sympathy and tolerance for felons at the cost of any regard for the victims of crimes who have suffered greatly. Why you would not apply that same sentiment to cherry-picked and questionable accusations leveled at important historical figures such as Columbus who have a larger, now-untold story is beyond me.

        But a charge of inconsistency does not seem to be something that troubles those who condemn Columbus and other historical figures for what they have been led to believe are their “crimes.”

  3. Columbus is not a polarizing figure. American society is polarized. Columbus did not commit genocide as there was no intent to kill the native peoples. most died of disease. Slavery in the Americas was widespread before Columbus arrived. The African slave trade to the US started a 100 years after his death . Columbus should not be blamed for the acts of others. Columbus represents the aspirations of Italian Americans for a holiday to celebrate their contributions and history. Now that history is being erased and replaced. As a group they are worthy of a holiday. the Italian community protested the removal of the statue . but their voice was not heard.

    1. YES, where is the “sensitivity” with regard to Italian-Americans and Columbus? And the TRUE story, now in the process of being scrubbed from the books?
      But we know it’s not about that, there never has been any real “sensitivity” to such groups, no matter what has been said or is said now, it’s all about these scoundrels’ wish to ELIMINATE our true history and culture, as much as it is possible to do.

  4. Isn’t it time we remove all things related to Obama for having the audacity to believe for years that marriage meant a union between a man and a woman? Simply shocking to all right thinking people. And he didn’t even discover America

  5. These politicians that ordered this to be removed on their beliefs and not that of the general populous should pay the bill to have it removed! After all its the general populous money they are spending not theirs! I wonder what they want to put in its place??

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