Chapel Hill police recover missing black history plaque

Orange County News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Chapel Hill officials say a missing black history plaque has been found.

Police were trying to figure out who removed the plaque a group of UNC students placed near campus last Tuesday.

The plaque was set up along Franklin Street next to the Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway marker near McCorkle Place. Chapel Hill town officials said they didn’t remove the plaque, and heard about it being removed Friday night.

The plaque’s designer, UNC senior Annie Simpson, said it’s a black history plaque with a connection to the Silent Sam Confederate monument taken down in 2018.

CBS 17 has chosen not to say all of what’s written on the plaque, with some may finding it offensive.

On Monday, Chapel Hill officials said someone was seen Friday night loading the plaque into the back of a pickup truck and driving away. 

“A short time later, that vehicle was stopped by an Orange County Sheriff’s deputy. The deputy seized the property and returned it to the Chapel Hill Police Department,” Chapel Hill officials said in a news release.

For Simpson, Sunday night was the first time seeing the space where the plaque was once placed.

“It definitely hurts to see it in person,” Simpson said.

Simpson said the plaque references a speech given by Julian Carr in 1913 at the dedication of Silent Sam.

She believes it’s important to honor the woman referenced.

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