Plans for Madison statue stalled by slave-owning concerns

This is an undated photo of a portrait vignette of U.S. President James Madison by artist Gilbert Stuart. (AP Photo)

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) — Plans to erect a statue of President James Madison outside a courthouse in a central Indiana county named after him have stalled amid concerns about his ownership of slaves.

The Madison County commissioners had proposed placing a 10-foot-tall statue of Madison outside the courthouse’s west entrance as part of a plaza beautification plan for the Anderson building costing up to $200,000.

But county administrator Dan Dykes tells The Herald Bulletin that the Madison statute is now on hold amid opposition to honoring the slave-owning 19th century president. But he says the commissioners still want some type of artwork for the courthouse plaza upgrade.

Madison County was named for the fourth president of the U.S. in 1823, six years after Madison’s second term as president ended.