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Museum Review: Confederate Memorial Hall Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana


Having never actually been to a museum dedicated to the Confederacy before, I had to go to the Confederate Memorial Hall Museum in New Orleans while attending the American Historical Association meeting last weekend.

What can one say about such a place? The building was erected in 1891. It’s an old Gilded Age mansion that I don’t think has even been renovated on the inside since construction. That’s appropriate because I think the people making up the core visitors hold the social values of 1891. It turns out that not only was the Civil War not about slavery, but that there’s no reason to even mention that black people exist. Literally, there’s not one mention of a black person, even as a supposedly loyal servant or something. It turns out that guns and swords are far, far more important. As was that big bad man Benjamin “Beast” Butler. And when you combine the fact that your coolest artifact outside of some battle flags is Benjamin Butler’s chamber pot with the fact that you don’t allow pictures to of anything, meaning I can’t add it to my collection of pictures of American historical toilets (I recommend the 3-seater at the home of Hudson River School artist Thomas Cole), it shows that not only does the museum lack any positive social value, but it can’t even provide the expected negative social value that I was hoping to get by going to one of the United States’ worst museums. Essentially, I see no reason for this museum to exist.

And yes, I was incredibly fearful that someone I know would see me enter or exit the museum.

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