In hopes of removing the the Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway marker on Franklin Street, the Town of Chapel Hill agreed to ask N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein on Wednesday, Jan. 16 to determine what entity has authority over it.
“No one has a record of who actually owns the land," said Pam Hemminger, mayor of Chapel Hill. "So the attorney general, we are asking him to make the determination as to who owns it, so then that entity can ask the daughters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy to take it back.”
In 1913, the UDC started its campaign to establish the ocean-to-ocean Jefferson Davis Highway. They were inspired by the coast-to-coast Lincoln Highway, which was announced about a year earlier, and placed markers such as the one on Franklin Street along U.S. Highway 15.
The UDC did not respond to interview requests from The Daily Tar Heel.
For the past year, the Town has been working with the N.C. Department of Transportation to investigate who owns the land the marker sits on. Until the Silent Sam protests in 2017, the marker had not been brought to the Town’s attention. Hemminger said the delay in this decision is because the Town was using their resources and devoting most of their attention to Silent Sam, but they also wanted to make sure they had done thorough research on the marker.