Board of Trustees Renames University of Alabama’s Morgan Hall
The UA System Board of Trustees voted unanimously to rename Morgan Hall at The University of Alabama.
In June, Board Pro Tempore Ron Gray appointed a working group to reassess the names of buildings on all three system campuses that were named after historical figures with ties to the Confederacy and other racist causes.
The group first recommended renaming Nott Hall, which the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to do in August, because of the building's namesake, Josiah Nott, and his vocal support of the institution of slavery.
In 1910, Morgan Hall was named after Senator John Tyler Morgan, who lobbied for Congress to obtain a federal land-grant of over 46,000 acres to add to The University after its burning by Union troops during the Civil War. However, Morgan was also an ardent white supremacist, working group leader Judge John H. England Jr. said.
"He referred to African Americans as rats, from the floor of the US Senate, and said 'such slavery was the highest point the negro race could achieve.'" England Jr. said. "Of course, that's me when he's referring to that."
England said as a senator, Morgan used his position to advocate for the mass relocation of Black Americans to the Congo, Cuba, and the Philippines. England Jr. said Morgan also laid the groundwork for Jim Crow laws that sought to disenfranchise Black Americans post-Civil War.
"I know there are many generations of doctors, teachers, lawyers and judges like me who would take great issue with Senator Morgan's point of view," England Jr. said.
The building will be temporarily renamed to the English Building, as it is home to the English Department and several Creative Writing classrooms.