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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Zebulon Vance Statue, Raleigh

  • Type

    Sculpture

  • Subjects

    Historic Political Figures

  • Creator

    Henry Jackson Ellicott, Sculptor

    Raleigh Marble Works, Builder

    Scoggins Memorial Art Shop of Charlotte, NC, Builder

    Gorham Manufacturing Company, Foundry

  • City

    Raleigh

  • County

    Wake

  • 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.

    Images: Contemporary view | Left front panel | Right front panel | Rear view | Left rear inscription | Right rear inscription

  • Inscription

    Front: VANCE

    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 / FAINTS NOT.

    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.

  • Custodian

    The State of North Carolina

  • Dedication Date

    August 22, 1900

  • Decade

    1900s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.779820 , -78.638850 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "A Statue of Vance," News Observer Chronicle (Raleigh, NC), April 19, 1894, 1 Link

      "Capitol Building," in the North Carolina County Photographic Collection (P0001), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Link

      "For the Vance Monument," News Observer Chronicle (Raleigh, NC), July 28, 1895, 5 Link

      "Glimpse of Capitol Grounds from Vance Monument, Raleigh, N.C.," in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill, (accessed September 12, 2013) Link

      "Raleigh, N.C. State Capitol--Front View, showing Vance Statue," in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill, (accessed September 12, 2013) Link

      "Raleigh, N.C. Vance Monument," in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill, (accessed September 12, 2013) Link

      "Statue of Vance is Unveiled Today," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), August 22, 1900

      "Statues and Monuments on Union Square," NC Historic Sites, (accessed February 8, 2012) Link

      "The Monument to Senator Vance," Fayetteville News and Observer (Fayetteville, NC), October 31, 1895, 1 Link

      "The Vance Monument," Fayetteville News and Observer (Fayetteville, NC), November 7, 1895, 1-2 Link

      "The Vance Monument," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), August 22, 1900, 1 Link

      "The Vance Monument," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), December 15, 1897 Link

      "The Vance Monument," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), July 2, 1899 Link

      "The Vance Monument," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), July 9, 1899 Link

      "The Vance Monument: Col. Cowles' Speech," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), May 24, 1895 Link

      "To Form an Association," The News and Observer Chronicle (Raleigh, NC), April 25, 1894, 1 Link

      "To the Memory of Zebulon B. Vance," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), March 4, 1899 Link

      "Vance Laid to Rest," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), April 19, 1894, 1 Link

      "Vance's Statue," News Observer Chronicle (Raleigh, NC), April 19, 1894, 2 Link

      "Vance, the Immortal," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), August 22, 1900 Link

      "Zebulon Baird Vance Papers 1894 & 1899," Division of Archives and History, Department of Cultural Resources, Raleigh. State Archives (Folder 169 & 170-173) CN: 03952 at the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

      "Zebulon Baird Vance, 13 May 1830-14 Apr. 1894," Documenting the American South (from Dictionary of North Carolina Biography edited by William S. Powell), accessed August 1, 2013 Link

      "Zebulon Baird Vance," Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museum, (accessed February 2, 2012) Link

      "Zebulon Vance Monument Unveiled," The New York Times, August 23, 1900, (accessed January 30, 2011) Link

      Index of American Sculpture, (Newark, DE: University of Delaware, 1985)

      Adler, Selig. "Zebulon B. Vance and the 'Scattered Nation,'" The Journal of Southern History 7.3 (1941), 357-377

      Battle, Richard H. "The Ceremonies Attending the Unveiling of the Bronze Statue of Zeb. B. Vance, in Capitol Square, Raleigh, N.C.," (Raleigh, NC: Advocate Company, 1900), (accessed December 20, 2011) Link

      Bishir, Catherine W. "Landmarks of Power," in Where These Memories Grow: History, Memory, and Southern Identity, edited by W. Fitzhugh Brundage, (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2000), 150-151

      Bishir, Catherine W. "North Carolina’s Union Square," Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina, (accessed May 15, 2012) Link

      Folder 168 in the Zebulon Baird Vance Papers #3952, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill see scans 13-15 Link

      Folder 170 in the Zebulon Baird Vance Papers #3952, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. See scans 35-38 Link

      Mebane, Charles Harden. Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of North Carolina, for the Scholastic Years 1898-'99 to 1899-1900, (Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 1900), (accessed February 8, 2012) Link

      United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division. Minutes of the Fourth Annual Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division Held in Raleigh, N.C., October 10, 11, 12, 1900 (Raleigh, N.C.: Capital Printing Company, Printers and Binders, 1901), 116, (accessed September 12, 2012) Link

      Vance, Zebulon. The Duties of Defeat. An Address Delivered before the Two Literary Societies of the University of North Carolina, June 7th, 1866, by Ex-Gov. Zebulon Baird Vance, (Raleigh: William B. Smith & Company, 1866), (accessed August, 2013) Link

      “The Vance Statue Unveiled Yesterday,” The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), August 23, 1900

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze sculpture, Mount Airy granite base (original), granite base (current), bronze plaques

  • Sponsors

    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.

  • Monument Cost

    $8,000.00

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    August 22, 1900

  • 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.

  • Landscape

    Union Square in downtown Raleigh has 14 monuments in total, including “Presidents North Carolina Gave the Nation”, George Washington, Women of the Confederacy, a Confederate Monument, North Carolina Veterans’ Monument, and Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Approval Process

    The Vance Monument Association was formed shortly after Vance’s death but sufficient funds were not approved until after the Democratic victory in the election of 1898. The legislature appropriated $5000 to honor Vance in form of a monument in 1899.

  • Materials & Assembly Cost

    Total was approximately $8,000. The cost of the construction and assembly of the newer pedestal totaled approximately $15,000, of which $12,000 was paid to the Scoggins Memorial Art Shop of Charlotte.

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