Be a part of history

Published 8:32 am Saturday, March 28, 2009

We devoted quite a bit of ink in today’s paper to a dedicated group’s efforts to restore the Rebecca Vaughan House in Courtland.

And here’s a little bit more.

The house, one of the sites that played a pivotal role in the 1831 Nat Turner slave rebellion, is on a long journey toward restoration to its former glory.

The small two-story home has a particularly gruesome past — it was the last place where whites, including Vaughan and her niece, were massacred by slaves who were participating in the revolt — but its role in the history of Southampton County and of the United States is undeniable.

It’s one of the few buildings that exist from that time frame, and it’s a grim reminder of an era that many would sooner forget — both black and white.

But, like the museums overseas dedicated to the Holocaust, this story cries out to be told.

The house, we now know for certain thanks to an architect who has been working there, is structurally sound.

Now all it needs is some money to be restored to its 1831 appearance — both from state grants and private donations.

We envision a day when busloads of people come to the Agriculture and Forestry Museum across the street and are able to visit the Vaughan house to learn the story of Nat Turner and those who lost their lives during the uprising.

If you don’t belong to the Southampton County Historical Society, now’s an exciting time to join and help it further the cause of refurbishing the Rebecca Vaughan House.

Generations of people will be glad you did.