Gem needs a shine

Published 10:02 pm Thursday, December 4, 2008

Southampton County has a diamond in the rough. And it’s sitting patiently in Courtland, waiting for the money needed to bring it back to its earlier splendor.

It is the Rebecca Vaughan House, and, as most people around here know, it was one of the sites that played a role in the 1831 Nat Turner slave rebellion. Specifically, it was the last place where whites were massacred by slaves who were participating in the revolt.

Few buildings from that time frame still exist, which makes the house all the more special.

Although that event stokes different feelings and emotions today, few would disagree that the rebellion was a pivotal event in American history and helped to bring about the demise of slavery.

We would like to see the Rebecca Vaughan House restored to its 1831 appearance. The county’s historical society needs grant money from the state and donations to make this happen.

Its restoration would be a wonderful complement to the Agriculture and Forestry Museum across the street and would help better tell the story of Nat Turner and the people who lost their lives — both white and black — during the rebellion.