A case in point is the Martin Luther King Statute at the Georgia Capital. Governor Nathan Deal has placed the new statue where another statue was. So what statute was taken down in order that King could be honored? A statue that was dedicated to the 33 black legislators who were expelled out of the Georgia House and Senate in 1868. Yes, a statute honoring black legislators who after the war between the states had their first chance to vote and represent Georgians. Even though moved to another location its prominent place is no longer in view.
One of the black house members who was expelled was a man named Thomas Beard. In 1870 Beard ran against Stephen Alpheastus Corker for the 5th US Congressional. Stephen Corker and his letters are the subject of the book "Above the High Water Mark"
Corker won the election but on the first day of the Congressional session Beard challenged Corker's election stating that violence had prevented Beard from getting votes. The US house took a vote to seat Corker and it made national news. This was because Corker was the last member of the US house from the Old South to join congress.
Georgia had been readmitted to the Union but due in part to the expulsion of the 33 black legislators, Georgia was again denied representation in congress. It was not until 1870 that Georgia ratified the 15th Amendment and was readmitted again to the Union. Thus; Georgia was the last former Confederate State to be readmitted to the Union.
Even though Corker had been given his seat, his election was passed onto the committee on elections for testimony in the case of Beard vs. Corker. Testimony was held in Augusta, Georgia. This testimony gives an interesting view on Reconstruction in Georgia. Nothing in the testimony changed the outcome of Corker's election. Finally on the last day of Congress a resolution was passed giving Corker his seat.
Beard lost his chance to be a member of US House of Representatives. And now it seems that his legacy and that of the other members of the black caucus expelled in 1868 will be lost to the dust bin of history by replacing their memorial with the new MLK statue on such a prominent location at the Georgia Capital.