Nat Turner revisited

Published 8:09 am Friday, August 6, 2010

Call us jaded, but we long ago gave up on Congress’ ability to curtail pork-barrel spending. As long as the people who control the purse strings need votes to get re-elected, they will continue to bring home the metaphorical bacon to constituents.

Our belief: If federal spending on local projects throughout the country is inevitable, Western Tidewater might as well get its share. Given the questionable uses of federal money everywhere, we have absolutely no problem with Southampton County getting $420,000 to develop a driving tour that retraces Nat Turner’s slave insurrection of the early 19th century.

Turner’s rampage is important and interesting history. Many historians have deemed it the beginning of the end of slavery in this country, and it happened right here in Southampton County.

The tour should be extremely popular with so-called heritage tourists, whose numbers are growing. To the extent that those tourists buy a tank of gas, eat a meal or rent a hotel room while in the area, the Turner tour will contribute to a local economy badly in need of a jolt.

We commend the Southampton County Historical Society for its leadership on the Turner project and look forward to its fruition.