Report: CT town to remove controversial statue of ‘Pequot Massacre’ leader
A northern Connecticut town is planning to remove a controversial statue from its town green depicting John Mason, a 17th century military commander who led a brutal raid on a Pequot fort.
The statue of Mason, depicted with his sword in hand, will be removed from its current location on Palisado Green in Windsor in the coming weeks, the Hartford Courant reported Thursday.
It’s unclear where the statue will be moved, the Courant reported. The statue itself belongs to the state and is leased to the town, according to the Windsor Historical Society.
The Courant reports the statue was vandalized last week with “BLM.”
Mason’s history during the Pequot War of 1636-1637 was what led to a chorus of protesters calling for the statue’s removal on social media.
On May 26, 1637, Mason led a pre-dawn raid on a Pequot village in Mystic along with allies from the Mohegan and Naragansett nations. More than 400 men, women and children were killed in the attack, many in fires set by the attackers, in what became known as the “Pequot Massacre.”
Mason’s statue on the Palisado Green was originally erected in 1889 on the site of that massacre, according to the Windsor Historical Society. In 1996, it was moved to its current location in Windsor, in part because it was believed to be near the location of Mason’s former home in the town.
The announcement Mason’s statue will be removed comes as several other Connecticut municipalities are grappling with what to do with statues of other leaders with checkered histories.
Last month, city officials in New Haven announced a 130-year-old statue of Cristopher Columbus would be removed from Wooster Park following hours of protest.
Bridgeport similarly removed a statue of Columbus from Seaside Park.
A statue of Mason, and a sculpture depicting his attack on the Pequot village, are still mounted on the exterior of the State Capitol.