Letter: Those who appreciate Vance will carry on his memory

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I regret that I have been unable to locate the letter that was recently written in response to an article concerning the Vance Monument. I will say, however, that most all of the articles that I have read in your paper are not very complimentary to the monument; in fact, they are all, to my knowledge, in favor of tearing down or “repurposing” it for some other use. It’s a shame that those who want to have another monument recognizing some other person or cause are too lazy to raise funds to build something of their own.

If their monument is for someone that I find deserving, I would donate to it myself. No matter how much you find the Vance Monument offensive, it is at least equally offensive to those who have an appreciation of Gov. Vance for the difficult job he had to do from 1862-65 to hold this man responsible for all problems of society, real or imagined.

History cannot be changed; it is what it is. Weeping and gnashing of teeth will in the end be futile. Those of us who remember Gov. Vance with respect and thanks for his service to North Carolina will carry on his memory. Yes, he had his faults, but as Jesus Christ said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

— Tom Vernon
Asheville

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14 thoughts on “Letter: Those who appreciate Vance will carry on his memory

  1. James

    Name ONE other person/cause to whom we have erected a monument in praise of their killing 120,000 American troops. Name one monument to the 9/11 hijackers or Bin laden. To the Japanese troops who bombed Pearl Harbor. To the Nazis who murdered six million Jews (not the victims, the perpetrators). Those are all historic events, too. In America we honor the Americans not the attackers/enemies/terrorists/traitors.

    YOU may think killing 120,000 US troops so that they could continue enslaving, torturing and killing people based on their race is no big deal and like any other sin, REAL Americans do not.

  2. Dopamina

    Interesting way to start your letter, that was basically a sanitized accusation of a conspiracy on the part of the MountainX staff to silence you. It sounds like you’re already a victim who is under siege by shadowy forces before we move on to the monument; appreciate you sharing that!

    As for the monument, if you care for Vance so much, you are free to try and get another monument erected elsewhere to honor someone so important to you. Regardless of your personal emotions & feelings, the citizens of Asheville clearly no longer want this monument in the city. Surely you don’t want to be seen as forcing your viewpoint down the throats of people who overwhelmingly disagree with you, do you? That isn’t liberty, no. there’s another word for that: oppression. The democracy that interweaves our Republic can be messy sometimes and sometimes people get their toes stepped on as society’s values change and evolve.

    Folks like you need to fire up some Bob Dylan and accept that the times are a changin’! Who knows, as I change and grow older, perhaps one day I will find myself in your shoes, fighting against the inevitable changin’ of the times…

  3. C-Law

    Well said Mr. Vernon!

    The Confederaphobia runs deep among the typical readership here, but it is good to see MtnX publish your letter. You’ve got sense and I suspect a keen understanding of the historical context. Thanks for sharing!

    Those who have ears, let them hear!

    I salute the flag of North Carolina and pledge to the Old North State love, loyalty, and faith.

    Deo Vindice

    • James

      What you call “Confederaphobia” REAL Americans call treason. Proud to have killed more American troops than any enemy except the Nazis? Russia is that way —> You’d feel more comfortable there. They are still trying to kill American troops, too.

  4. Mike

    When it comes to slave ownership, Vance was a pitiful piker when compared to actual Plantation owners Samuel Ashe and Edward Buncombe who both owned well over 100 slaves. Their names are omnipresent in our daily lives while Vance is largely forgotten .. Why all the hate for Vance and the benign neglect of Ashe and Buncombe??

    • James

      Ashe and Buncombe didn’t participate in the killing of 120,000 American troops to perpetuate slavery. We abhor slavery, but treason and killing American troops is by far the worse. Followed closely by people who are still proud of those actions and defending statues to it today.

      • Mike

        Ashe and Buncombe also participated in a war of secession. As such they participated in the killing of the soldiers of their current lawful government. The only difference I see is that Ashe and Buncombe won their war while Vance lost his.

        • luther blissett

          Well, yeah. That’s the point about civic spaces. There aren’t many statues of George III or colonial governors or memorials to the Loyalist dead. There are streets and neighborhoods named after Tryon elsewhere in the state, but I doubt many people associate them with the colonial governor.

  5. Mike R.

    We should be tearing down the US Capitol, by God! Built by slave labor.
    Where does this start? Where does this end?
    Who’s to say?
    Ever heard the expression: “Let bygones be bygones”?

    • Peter Robbins

      I’m still mad that they changed “Jenkins Hill” to “Capitol Hill.” What was that supposed to do — symbolize some kind of new beginning?

    • James

      Says the guy who won’t let go of the fact that he lost the war and 155 years later is still demanding we keep honoring the traitors who killed American troops because “history.”

      • Mike

        George Washington was also a traitor to the legitimate government of the colony of Virginia for over 150 years. Robert E. Lee and Vance were “traitors” to a government of only 70 years…. and unlike later Britiish colonies in Africa and Asia … the citizens of Virginia were in large part multigenerational subjects of the King. If you read the 1st paragraph of the Declaration of Independence it basically says that all people have a NATURAL right of secession..

        “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them,…. ”

        I agree with the Declaration and believe that both Washington and Lee were exercising the natural rights of the people who they represented.

        Your premise that Washington, Ashe, and Buncombe were “good traitors” while Lee and Vance were “bad traitors” when ALL were slave owners and slavery supporters is incoherent.

        At least those who also advocate the destruction of monuments to Washington, Jefferson, et al. have a rational (if misguided) consistency.

          • C-Law

            Excellent closing argument James.

            Flawless logic.

            I guess that’s the end of it.

            Oh, but colonials were British subjects at the time of colonial secession….

            Oops! Back to the drawing board Jimbo, ha!

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