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Vance birthplace defaced with spray paint
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 11:32

From Staff Reports 

WEAVERVILLE — The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a case of vandalism at the Zebulon Baird Vance birthplace in Reems Creek, which was reported on the morning of Dec. 9. 

Somebody spray-painted “Black-Lives Matter”  in red on the side of the building. The paint job was visible from the road with the sunrise. Immediately after the incident, the cabin was covered with a tarp, awaiting paint removal by a restoration expert.

The historic landmark includes the home of the former North Carolina governor, a slave cabin dating back to the 1790s, and five additional structures. Vance was born in 1830 and served as a Confederate officer during the Civil War, governor for two non-consecutive terms, and U.S. senator, among other prestigious posts.

 The home is the original structure, a log cabin. It and the slave quarters have been outfitted with period furniture to help visitors interpret living in the 1830s from the perspective of the governor’s family and the slaves.

 Meanwhile, G. Neel Lattimore with North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources described vandalizing historic structures in the dark of night as a “cowardly” way to express one’s First Amendment rights. 

 The latest attack is part of a movement across the country aimed at removing public monuments to Confederate leaders, with or without the approval of those responsible for the public spaces presenting them. The Vance Monument in downtown Asheville has, in recent years, been the target of two spray-painting incidents and a more recent attack with crowbars.

 Spokespeople for the Black Lives Matter movement argue the monuments were erected to tower over people of color and keep them in shame and submission, while advocates for historic preservation hold to the adage that those who forget their past are doomed to repeat it.



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