I am at a loss for words when it comes to the violence in Charlottesville over the last few days. Well, not so much a loss for words, as a loss for cohesive words, words that stick together in a chain and make sense and are elegant and pithy and memorable.
I want to write a rant of epic proportion, a diatribe of disdain, but I can’t.
So I’ll say this…
I abhor violence.
I abhor the idea of White-supremacy.
I abhor supremacy ideolegy regardless of the one claiming to be supreme.
I abhor Nazism.
What happened in Charlottesville was wrong, the neo-Nazi, White-Supremacist, and any other hate monger groups on the ground clearly don’t love America, don’t love freedom, and are beyond reprehensible.
We – as in every sane person in America – are appalled by what has happened there.
Knowing how I feel about this made me wonder what the three people at the center of the controversy would think about it.
I believe Lee would be appalled.
Jackson, a devoutly religious man, would be grieved.
And Paul Goodloe McIntire would be heart-broken.
Paul Goodloe McIntire was born in Charlottesville, Virginia in May of 1860. The war that would tear the nation apart and bring Lee and Jackson eternal fame had not started. More than four of his first five years were consumed with war.
He grew UP there, a real Virginia child, and attended the University of Virginia for one semester. He left because he “…had to make a living.”
In 1880, he moved to Chicago, became a coffee trader, amassed enormous wealth, and bought a seat on the Chicago Stock Exchange.
In 1901, he moved to New York where he bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.
In 1918, even more wealthy, he retired to his beloved Charlottesville.
He spent the next 34 years of his life giving his fortune away.
A generous philanthropist, he donated to the University of Virginia heavily. Virginius Dabney, an historian claims McIntire gave $750,000 to UVA in ‘named’ gifts as well as anonymous gifts to the school and the city of Charlottesville.
His gift of $200,000 would be used to establish the McIntire School of Commerce at UVA in 1921.
Later he would endow the chair of the school of Fine Arts claiming an explicit goal of “…enriching the Charlottesville cultural experience.”
Jefferson’s original plans for the college included a Fine Arts faculty, McIntire’s gift of $155,000 in 1919 endowed the chair.
In a letter accompanying the money, he said he hoped “…the University will see its way clear to offer many lectures upon the subject of art and music, so that the people will appreciate more than ever before that the University belongs to them; and that it exists for them.”
The McIntire Department of Music and the McIntire Department of Art were named in his honor.
He went on to donate the funds for the McIntire Amphitheatre, at the time one of only seven outdoor Greek style theaters in the US.
In 1924 he gave $50,000 toward a new facility for the University Hospital. In 1932 his gift of $75,000 allowed for the study of psychiatry and another $100,000 went to cancer research.
The same year he purchased Pantops’ Farm for $47,500 for the school.
He donated his rare book collection to the library.
He donated close to 500 works of art to the school’s museum, and he financed the George Rogers Clark Sculpture, The Thomas Jonathan Jackson Sculpture, the Robert Edward Lee Sculpture, and the Meriweather Lewis and William Clark Sculpture through the National Sculpture Society.
The four statues were donated as works of art for the beautification of the city and came with a donation of property for use as parks.
McIntire was so generous, by the time of his death he was struggling to get by on his $6,000 a year annuity.
McIntire died in 1952, the year I was born.
Yes, he would be heart-broken to see his lovely city of Charlottesville in the grips of turmoil. We all should be.