Roger Brooke Taney Monument
Absent Statue of the Author of the Dred Scott Decision
The Roger Brooke Taney Monument is not explicitly a Confederate monument. However, Taney is most famous for his decision in the Dred Scott case, which advanced slavery in America and is tied to the Confederate cause. Taney served as the chief justice of the Supreme Court for nearly 30 years beginning in 1836. During that time Taney oversaw the ruling of the Dred Scott decision that stated that African Americans could not be considered as citizens, and by extension could still be considered as property even if they were in a free state.
This sculpture is an 1887 copy of an 1872 original that was made by William Henry Rinehart. Rinehart was one of the first well-renown sculptors in Baltimore, and the Rinehart School of Sculpture was established after his death.
The original sculpture was commissioned by William T. Walters for the Maryland State House in Annapolis, where it is still located. Fifteen years later, Walters had this copy made and gave it to the City of Baltimore. Baltimore's Taney Monument resides in Mount Vernon Place because of Taney’s close relationship to Francis Scott Key, who frequently visited and eventually died there.
In 2016, the Special Commission to Review Baltimore's Public Confederate Monuments recommended removing the Taney Monument along with the Lee-Jackson Statue at Wyman Park Dell. After the murder of a counter-protestor during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017, Baltimore City responded to renewed calls to take down Confederate monuments by removing the Taney Monument, the Lee-Jackson Monument, the Confederate Soldiers & Sailors Monument, and the Confederate Women's Monument and placing all four statues in storage. By January 2018, the city had not yet announced any plans for the permanent disposition of the statues.