Sunday, February 11, 2007

Davidson, NC

Ken Knouf wrote a few days ago asking what I liked about Davidson.

I think Davidson is an ideal place - it is a small town, but has culture and history. If I had to live in an "urban" area, I think Davidson would make a good place. Davidson reminds me of Banner Elk, with Lees-McRae College, which is not far from where I live.

And, it has history, mostly associated with the college. No, no large scale battles were waged on the grounds, etc. The school did remain open during the war, and some of the students were wounded soldiers. Federal soldiers did make a visit in May 1865. "They broke open the doors and windows of the recitation rooms and chapel and did damage to apparatus and buildings amounting to eight hundred dollars."

We’ve already mentioned that Confederate General D. H. Hill is buried in the cemetery. Hill taught mathematics at Davidson College before the war. A good description of Hill’s life can be found here:

But that history goes beyond just the war years. Woodrow Wilson was once a student at Davidson, before going to Princeton; the school was a leader in x-ray technology; student Wilson P. Mills was a Rhodes scholar; Dr. C. Alphonso Smith, founder of the Virginia Folklore Society; Vareen Bell, novelist; and future North Carolina governors Robert B. Glenn, James E. Holshouser, and James G. Martin were all students.

All that, not to mention the connection with Peter Stuart Ney, alleged to be Marshall Michael Ney of Napoleon’s army, who designed the school motto: Alenda Lux Ubi Orta Libertas
(Let Learning Be Cherished Where Liberty Has Arisen)

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