Zebulon Vance Statue
Description: An 8.5-foot tall bronze statue depicts a majestic Vance in the midst of debate. The statue occupies a niche in a wall of granite. The right wing of the wall shows a bronze relief plaque depicting a scene of North Carolina industry; the left displays a bronze relief plaque depicting a scene of North Carolina agriculture. The original statue stood on an 11.5-foot tall base made of Mt. Airy granite.
Contemporary view |
Left front panel |
Right front panel |
Rear view |
Left rear inscription |
Right rear inscription
Front right: THE SUBJECTION OF EVERY PASSION AND PREJUDICE . . . TO THE / COOLER SWAY OF JUDGMENT AND REASON, WHEN THE COMMON / WELFARE IS CONCERNED, / IS THE FIRST VICTORY TO BE WON.
Front left: IF THERE BE A PEOPLE ON EARTH GIVEN TO SOBER SECOND / THOUGHT, AMENABLE TO REASON AND REGARDFUL OF THEIR / PLIGHTED HONOR I BELIEVE THAT "_ IT IS THE PEOPLE OF / NORTH CAROLINA.
Rear left: THE COUNTRY TURNS TOWARD HER YOUNG MEN AND CALLS /
THEM TO LEAD THE WAY IN PREACHING AND PRACTICING /
HOPE. YOU ARE REQUIRED, ABOVE ALL, TO TEACH OUR PEOPLE /
TO LOOK UP FROM THE CRUMBLING ASHES AND PROSTRATE /
COLUMNS OF THEIR PRESENT RUIN, TO THE MAJESTIC PRO- /
PORTIONS AND SURPASSING GRANDEUR OF THAT TEMPLE /
WHICH MAY YET BE BUILT BY THE HAND WHICH LABORS, THE /
MIND WHICH CONCEIVES, AND THE GREAT SOUL WHICH /
Rear center: ZEBULON BAIRD VANCE / 1830-1894
Rear right: WELL AND TRULY NORTH CAROLINA PERFORMED HER DUTY, AS /
THE RESULT ON MANY A STRICKEN FIELD WILL SHOW, FIRST AND /
LAST SHE SENT TO THE ARMIES OF THE CONFEDERACY, NOT /
RELATIVELY, BUT ABSOLUTELY, MORE SOLDIERS THAN ANY /
OTHER STATE IN THE SOUTH; FURNISHED MORE SUPPLIES, /
EQUIPPED HER TROOPS BETTER ... THERE WAS NOT A SAC- /
RIFICE WHICH SHE WAS CALLED UPON TO MAKE FOR THE /
GOOD OF THE SOUTHERN CAUSE THAT SHE DID NOT /
MAKE, AND MAKE CHEERFULLY.
Dedication date: 8/22/1900
Creator: Henry Jackson Ellicott, Sculptor
Raleigh Marble Works, Builder
Scoggins Memorial Art Shop of Charlotte, NC, Builder
Gorham Manufacturing Company, Foundry
Materials & Techniques: Bronze sculpture, Mount Airy granite base (original), granite base (current), bronze plaques
Sponsor: The Vance Monumental Association, formed on April 24, 1894, raised $3,000 toward the cost of the monument (of that $1,970.65 was raised from public contributions and $218.00 was collected from the interest accrued from the selling of old war bonds). In 1899 the state legislature appropriated another $5,000.
Unveiling & Dedication: 8-22-2000
Post dedication use: On Vance's birthday (May 13th), members of the Asheville United Daughters of the Confederacy and B'nai B'rith held a program near the monument to honor his birth.
Subject notes: Zebulon Baird Vance was the governor of North Carolina from 1862 to 1865 and from 1877 to 1879. He also served in the Confederate army until 1862. He is remembered for having worked hard to supply the Confederate troops and to protect the rights of North Carolina during the war. He served in the United States Senate from 1879 to his death in 1894. He was a very popular Democratic figure in North Carolina. Read more about Zebulon Baird Vance.
Controversies: Friends and supporters of Vance wanted a monument soon after Vance's death, but at the time the legislature was too racially and politically divided to support the project. After 1898, when Democrats regained control of the state legislature, Democrats used their majority to approve funding for the monument to their party hero.
The sculpture of Vance received criticism for its unattractive representation of the state's noted politico. The height of the pedestal upon which the sculpture of Vance posed also aroused criticism for preventing viewers from admiring the details of the statue. When the Vance monument was relocated in 1949 to face the Charles Aycock monument, it was lowered from its former height to match the level of the Aycock monument.
Location: Today the monument stands in Raleigh's Union Square, facing a monument of Charles Aycock.
Former Locations: The statue originally stood 100 feet east of the eastern front doors of the North Carolina State Capitol. In 1949, it was relocated to its current position in order to make room for the monument to the Presidents North Carolina Gave the Nation. The original granite pedestal was replaced with the base that currently holds the monument to match the monument to Charles Aycock.
Landscape: Union Square in downtown Raleigh has 14 monuments in total, including "ÃPresidents North Carolina Gave the Nation", George Washington, Women of the Confederacy, a Confederate Monument, North Carolina Veterans' Monument, and Vietnam Veterans' Memorial.
Subjects: Historic Political Figures