SILENT SAM

SILENT SAM

street:
Chapel Hill
NC
Built in
1913
Site is located on the UNC campus

 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sat, 12/21/2019 - 4:45pm by SteveR

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street:
Chapel Hill
NC
Built in
1913

 

(Some of the below text is from Wikipedia)

The Confederate Monument, University of North Carolina, commonly known as Silent Sam, is a bronze statue of a Confederate soldier by Canadian sculptor John A. Wilson, which stood on McCorkle Place at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) from 1913 until it was pulled down by protestors in 2018.

It was erected June 2, 1913 by the North Carolina chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC).

1913 Erection ceremony

Establishing a Confederate monument at a North Carolina university became a goal of the state UDC in 1907. UNC approved the group's request in 1908 and, with funding from UNC alumni, the UDC, and the university. At the unveiling on June 2, 1913, local industrialist and UNC Trustee Julian Carr gave a speech espousing white supremacy, while North Carolina Governor Locke Craig, UNC President Francis Venable, and members of the UDC and other "Lost Cause" proponents praised the sacrifices made by students who volunteered to fight for the Confederacy.

One featured speaker at the monument dedication was UNC alumni Henry London. London became quite active in the "Lost Cause" movement in the late 19th century. At the dedication, London extolled the bravery of the southern white men who answered the "noble cause" of the Confederacy without hesitation. Ironically, London avoided the draft and esentially hid out on the UNC campus to avoid service during the war.

The speaker who has attracted the most subsequent attention was Orange County native Julian Carr, a prominent industrialist, UNC alumnus and Trustee, former Confederate enlisted soldier, and the largest single donor towards the construction of the monument. His (written) dedication speech can be found online here: https://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/00ddd/id/121638/rec/1

Excerpt from UNC Alumni Review, p. 121

"Silent Sam in Studio by John A. Wilson." (Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management, John Wilson Scrapbook, via Wikipedia)

 

The program for the unveiling simply referred to the statue as "the Confederate Monument", with the name "Soldiers' Monument" also being used around the same time. The name "Silent Sam" is first recorded in 1954, in the student newspaper The Daily Tar Heel.

Beginning in the 1960s, the statue faced opposition on the grounds of its racist message, and it was vandalized several times. Protests and calls to remove the monument reached a higher profile in the late 2010s, and in 2018 UNC Chancellor Carol L. Folt described the monument as detrimental to the university, and said that she would have the statue removed if not prohibited by state law.
 
On August 20, 2018, Silent Sam was toppled by protesters, and later that night removed to a secure location by university authorities. The pedestal base and inscription plaques were removed on January 14, 2019.
 

Circa 1915 (via UNC)

1918 (via UNC)

1918 (via UNC)

 

For additional and more current information, please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Sam

 

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