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Charleston officials vote to remove statue of slavery advocate John C. Calhoun

The city council in Charleston, South Carolina, voted unanimously on Tuesday to take down a statue of John C. Calhoun, the seventh vice president of the United States and a staunch defender of slavery.

Mayor John Tecklenburg said this is a "beautiful show of support" from the council, and he was glad they came together "not to erase our long and often tragic history, but to begin to write a new and more equitable future." The statue is in downtown Charleston's Marion Square, at the top of a 100-foot monument. Tecklenburg believes the statue will likely be moved to a museum or educational institution, The Associated Press reports.

The statue has been in Marion Square since 1898, and in the resolution authorizing its removal, the city council said it is "seen by many people as something other than a memorial to the accomplishments of a South Carolina native, but rather a symbol glorifying slavery and, as such, a painful reminder of the history of slavery in Charleston." A port city, about 40 percent of enslaved Africans brought to North America came through Charleston.