Nashville Protestors Tear Down Statue of Edward Carmack



In Nashville, Tennessee and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, statues of people criticized for racist views – but without Confederate ties – were targeted during Saturday night’s riots.

Protesters in Nashville toppled Saturday a statue of Edward Carmack, a state lawmaker in the early 1900s and newspaper publisher who had racist views and wrote editorials lambasting the writings of prominent Tennessee civil rights journalist Ida B. Wells, The Tennessean reported.

“Carmack was a politician in the early 1900s who wrote editorials lambasting the writings of prominent Tennessee civil rights journalist Ida B. Wells,” according to

“He was fatally shot in 1908 by a political rival.”

According to Tennessee Encyclopedia, Carmack, among other things, was a leader in the state’s temperance movement, served in the Tennessee General Assembly in the 1880s, and, afterwards, pursued a career in journalism. While in that field, Carmack developed a close relationship with newspaper owner Duncan Brown Cooper. Voters later elected Carmack to the U.S. House of Representatives and then the U.S. Senate.

Cooper and Carmack later had a falling out over the issue of prohibition. Carmack used his position as editor of the Nashville Tennessean to belittle Cooper, according to The Tennessee Encyclopedia.

“Outraged by such comments, Cooper sent a stern warning to Carmack to halt his attacks. Carmack, however, ignored these threats and continued to malign his former friend,” The Tennessee Encyclopedia reported.

“The situation came to a head on November 9, 1908, when Cooper and his son Robin encountered Carmack on a downtown Nashville street. Fearing an ambush, Carmack fired on the pair, wounding the younger Cooper. Robin Cooper returned fire, killing Carmack instantly.”

Tennesseans soon favored prohibition and erected the statue of Carmack in the early 20th century, according to The Tennessee Encyclopedia.

As The Tennessee Star reported, several thousand protestors descended upon Nashville’s Legislative Plaza Saturday on behalf of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis while in police custody. Many protestors carried signs demanding that the government either defund or abolish the police. The crowd, composed of whites and blacks, chanted “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace” many times over.

Later in the day, and after Saturday’s rally, protestors resorted to violence — by vandalizing the Metro Courthouse and, later, parts of downtown Broadway.

Nashville law enforcement officials arrested a total of 28 people during Saturday’s riots or after that night’s 10 p.m. curfew, according to the Metro government’s website.

Metro Nashville Police, as of Monday, determined that the protestors left 30 damaged businesses and buildings in their wake.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Photo “Edward Carmack” by Kenneth C. Zirkel CC4.0.




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8 Thoughts to “Nashville Protestors Tear Down Statue of Edward Carmack”

  1. Odin

    I am sick and tired of hearing Americans with no idea about their problematic history. How about a little truth here?


  2. […] revisión hecha a los medios locales de Tennessee nos lleva a saber que fue una estatua de Carmack, un legislador y periodista estatal de […]

  3. […] upended a statue of Edward Carmack, a newspaper publisher and early-1900s state lawmaker who called for the firebombing of the civil rights activist and journalist Ida B. Wells. His monument stood in […]

  4. MAGA

    Cooper lights up the Shelby St. walking bridge to kick off LGBT month. Soldiers who died for our country only get one day.

  5. 83ragtop50

    I am sick and tired of hearing rioters and looters referred to as protesters. How about a little truth here?

    1. Kevin

      Amen! They’re thugs and punks!

  6. CCW

    Wow! If Cooper is going to have to pay, he is going to need that 32% tax increase just to maintain financial solvency.
    How about adding the bill for repairing Antifa / BLM desecration of Andy and Rachel Jackson’s tombs outside of Nashville?

  7. Kevin

    Send the bill for any and all repairs on the statue to Mayor Cooper! He is responsible for the rally that turned into violence!