WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) — A statue of fifth U.S. President James Monroe has been vandalized at a university in Virginia with the words “slave owner.”
The Virginia Gazette reported Monday that the statue stands on the campus of William & Mary in Williamsburg.
University officials said the defacement occurred Sept. 29. The words were written by a marker and have since been removed. School officials said university police have identified a suspect, although no charges have been filed.
The website for Monroe’s home in Charlottesville says he owned as many as 250 slaves in his lifetime and never freed any of them. However, he also called for abolition of slavery.
Monroe attended William & Mary. The statue was dedicated in 2015. Its pedestal depicts milestones in Monroe’s life, but does not mention slavery.