zebulon vance

Matt Bush BPR

Of all the options for the future of the Vance Monument in Pack Square, putting it and its namesake into context might be the most difficult to imagine.  Not because it isn’t a viable solution, but because it’s such a broad yet vague idea.   A trip to Zebulon Vance’s birthplace north of Asheville shows what 'contextualizing' the monument could look like.   

Matt Bush BPR

Around 100 people demonstrated in Pack Square Sunday night.  They were there to honor Heather Heyer, the counter protestor who was killed at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Matt Bush BPR

The city of New Orleans earlier this year removed statues of Confederate president Jefferson Davis and General Robert E. Lee.  Asheville has its own monument to a Confederate leader – Zebulon Vance, who served as North Carolina’s governor during the Civil War and U.S. Senator during the post-war Reconstruction period.  The future of the prominent landmark in Pack Square - home to two other monuments honoring the Confederacy - is now under debate, as is the lack of equivalent commemoration of Asheville’s deep African-American history.

Author Steven Nash is well-versed on Zebulon Vance, and the post-Civil War period known as Reconstruction when Vance became a U.S. Senator and political powerhouse in North Carolina.  He wrote the book "Reconstruction's Ragged Edge: The Politics of Post-War Life in the Southern Mountains".

Matt Bush BPR

The Vance Monument in Pack Square is one of downtown Asheville’s most recognizable landmarks.  It honors Zebulon Vance, North Carolina’s governor during the Civil War and U.S. Senator during the Reconstruction period.  It has stood for over a hundred years.  But following the removal of Confederate flags and statues in Charleston and New Orleans, the discussion over the future of the Vance Monument in Asheville is becoming unavoidable.