I think Zebulon Vance was a great man who served our people well as state governor and U.S. senator.
By the time of his adult age, he had little to do with the few slaves his family had possessed. He was a staunch Unionist until his state was propelled into a war he wanted to avoid.
If he held patronizing views of American black folks, that wasn’t much different from the views of most white people of his time, including Abraham Lincoln (read Lincoln’s own speeches). I believe he well deserves our respect and the monument that stands in his honor!
Most people of Vance’s time also held what we would today regard as patronizing attitudes toward women. Women could not vote, and it was believed by most people that a woman’s place was in the home.
— Byron F. Hovey