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Who was Julian Carr, and why do people want his name removed from a Duke building?

September 6, 2018

A group of people is expected to gather Wednesday on Duke’s campus to call for a name change for the university’s Carr building.

The building is named for Julian Carr, a white supremacist who fought for the confederacy and gave a fiery speech in 1913 at the Silent Sam statue dedication.

Because Carr gave a lot of money to UNC, Carrboro and Duke University, you can find the “Carr” name on Duke’s history department building, on an office building at UNC, and, most prominently, on the Town of Carrboro.

Carr was a UNC student and died in 1924.

Officials say made his money in the tobacco industry, and, at the Silent Sam dedication, he bragged about “horse-whipping a black woman.”

According to historical documents from the UNC Library Abstract, Carr’s quote was:

“I trust I may be pardoned for one allusion, howbeit it is rather personal. One hundred yards from where we stand, less than ninety days perhaps after my return from Appomatox, I horse-whipped a negro wench until her skirts hung in shreds, because upon the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted and maligned a Southern Lady, and then rushed for protection to these University buildings where was stationed a garrison of 100 Federal soldiers. I performed the pleasing duty in the immediate presence of the entire garrison, and for thirty nights afterwards slept with a double-barrel shot gun under my head.”

Some Carrboro residents have also asked leaders to change the town’s name, but town officials told WRAL News it would be costly and confusing. Instead, a plaque will be installed by Town Hall that acknowledges Carr’s racist views.

At Duke University, leaders say they’ll consider renaming the Carr building.

Tonight’s rally is planned for 7 p.m.