Commentary

Tar Heels of The Past: Quotes and Corruption

Many times, nothing proves a point better than a good quote. Anything else—a paraphrase or an explanation—only dampens a literary passage’s verve or weakens an argument’s persuasiveness. So with brief contextual background, here are four quotes from North Carolinians regarding the importance of liberty and the imperative to defend it against corrupt government.

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Stanley, Kathryn T. (1903-1985)

  Despite never having been ordained, Kathryn T. Stanley still contributed significantly to the High Point community and the Congregational Christian Church denomination.   As her church’s "Director of Activities," Stanley was in every practical sense the de facto pastor of Washington Terrace Congregational Church.  

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Sanford, Terry (1917 -1998)

At the onset of the 1960s, Terry Sanford was elected the 65th governor of North Carolina. A lifelong Democrat, Sanford championed improving the state’s educational system at all levels, embodied the spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, strove to fight poverty, and desired to expand the Research Triangle Park. Despite serving only one term, Sanford’s programs transformed Southern politics, specifically in education and race relations, and contributed to his legacy as a political hero in the New South.  

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Holt, Thomas Michael (1831-1896)

An industrialist who later entered into the political arena as a friend of farmers, Thomas Michael Holt served North Carolina as its 47th governor.  His administration is known for supporting higher education and returning elective control to localities.

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State Literary and Historical Association

Formed in 1900, SLHA members work to stimulate literary and historical activity in North Carolina.  The mission is accomplished by not only hosting an annual address that has featured national luminaries such as Charles Kuralt, William Howard Taft, and Henry Cabot Lodge but also by outreach efforts to children and adults. 

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Literary Fund

In 1825, a bill was passed that established The Literary Fund, and the effort became North Carolina’s first attempt to establish public schools. The Literary Fund never accomplished its mission because only approximately 20 percent was spent for public schooling.

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Reid, David S. (1813-1891)

A U.S. Congressman and later a U.S. Senator, David Settle Reid served as North Carolina’s governor from 1851 until 1854.  The Democrat is known for playing an instrumental role in the demise of the North Carolina Whig Party with his adroit debating in the 1848 election.  He is also known for being supportive of public education and for defending what he believed to be southern rights.

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Wiley, Calvin (1819-1887

The first superintendent of North Carolina Common Schools, Calvin H. Wiley organized existing common schools, promoted education among North Carolinians, and set an unachievable benchmark for subsequent superintendents.  At one time or another in his career, “The father of public education,” as one historian calls him, was also a lawyer, Presbyterian minister, newspaper editor, textbook writer, novelist, and state legislator.

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Alexander, Annie Lowrie (1864-1929)

Annie Alexander has a unique place in history: the first female licensed to practice medicine in the South. Annie was strongly influenced by her father, a physician himself, who determined that she should become a doctor after one of his female patients died after refusing medical attention out of fear of being examined by a man. When Dr. Alexander told his wife of his desire to have Annie become a doctor, Mrs. Alexander fretted over bearing the cost of medical training, only to have Annie marry and forgo a career as a physician. Dr. Alexander’s response was blunt: "She must never marry. She’ll serve humanity".  

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Campbell University

On January 5, 1887, James Archibald Campbell founded Buies Creek Academy, which would later become Campbell University, in a one-room school with twenty-one students.