The debate over Confederate monuments leads to the conclusion that the whole story of the Civil War era is not being told. There are many other individuals and groups who deserve to be recognized, and here in the South there seems to be a conspiracy of silence about their contributions.
Most North Carolinians did not own slaves and were opposed to slavery. Pro-Union sentiment in the state was strong, and there was a rising tide of opposition to the war during the last two years of the conflict.
There were numerous abolitionists, such as Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison and Harriet Beecher Stowe, who deserve much credit for ending this shameful institution.
The Underground Railroad played an important part in leading slaves to freedom. Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth were key players in this stirring drama.
William W. Holden, a newspaper editor and candidate for governor in North Carolina, was a strong voice against the Civil War.
Last, but not least, were 8 million people in servitude, who were the driving engine of the South’s economy and who had no hope of sharing in this prosperity.
Thomas K. Spence Jr.