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Petitioner cites Carrboro’s history in suggesting town be renamed ‘Unicornboro’

Chapel Hill artist Michael Brown’s mural, shown here mid-progress on the N.C. 54 off ramp to Jones Ferry Road in Carrboro, is painted in the style of children’s drawings and meant to celebrate the town’s diversity.
Chapel Hill artist Michael Brown’s mural, shown here mid-progress on the N.C. 54 off ramp to Jones Ferry Road in Carrboro, is painted in the style of children’s drawings and meant to celebrate the town’s diversity. mschultz@newsobserver.com

A user of an online petition website proposes that the town of Carrboro change its name to “Unicornboro.”

The author of the Care2 petition, listed as Ralph G., expresses clear objection to Carrboro being named after Julian Shakespeare Carr because Carr “was an outspoken white supremacist,” he wrote.

There is no real explanation in the post or the suggestion to rename the town after a unicorn, other than “everyone knows that unicorns are a lot cooler than Carr ever was!”

Carrboro was originally known as West End, due to its proximity to Chapel Hill. It took the name of former UNC-Chapel Hill president Francis Preston Venable when the town was incorporated in 1911, and its name changed a final time in 1913 after Julian Shakespeare Carr expanded his local textile mill and extended electricity to the community, according to the town.

The petition notes that Carr “boasted during his monument dedication speech that he ‘horse-whipped a Negro wench’ 100 yards from the site of the controversial Silent Sam monument to Confederate soldiers on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill.”

An account of that speech is archived in UNC’s online library database.

CARR
A screenshot of part of Julian Shakespeare Carr’s speech dedicating the Silent Sam statue memorializing Confederate soldiers in the Civil War. UNC UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES

In it, Carr says he whipped the woman because “upon the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted and maligned a Southern lady.”

The petition appears to have posted online Friday. By Saturday afternoon, it had eight supporters toward its goal of 100,000.

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