June 26, 2020
Florence Fearrington ’58, one of the preeminent rare book collectors of our time and a longtime supporter of Carolina, has donated nearly 4,000 books and objects valued at $6.2 million to University Libraries, where they...Read More
Sept. 24, 2019
On the occasion of the 350th anniversary of the death of Rembrandt van Rijn, the Ackland Art Museum will exhibit for two weeks seven of his drawings that were given to the museum two years...Read More
April 16, 2019
The campus was rocked in mid-April by several of what University officials characterized as racist and anti-Semitic incidents. Two people were arrested for vandalism of art objects that involved racist graffiti; anti-Semitic posters were found...Read More
An exhibition honoring the “father” of the University is on display at Wilson Library through June 30.
Nearly 50 artifacts, images, books and documents relating to William Richardson Davie can be seen in the library’s North Carolina Collection Gallery.
“William Richardson Davie: Soldier, Statesman and Founder of the University of North Carolina” coincides with the 250th anniversary of Davie’s birth on June 22, 1756.
Davie, a Revolutionary War hero and later a state legislator, introduced the bill in the N.C. General Assembly in 1789 that chartered the University. With the laying of the cornerstone of Old East in 1793, the new institution became a physical reality. When UNC opened to students in January 1795, it became the first operating state university in the nation.
As a trustee, Davie continued to guide the University’s operations over the next decade. He helped select professors, supervise the construction of additional buildings and monitor the curricula and students.
Davie was an influential statesman during America’s early years of independence, serving as governor of North Carolina from 1798 to 1799. At the request of then-President John Adams, he traveled to Paris to help negotiate a commercial treaty that brought an end to the naval conflict between the United States and France in 1800.
He retired from public service in 1805, left his home in Halifax and returned to the Waxhaw region of South Carolina, where he had spent his boyhood. He died there in 1820.
Samples of the artifacts include:
Original correspondence from Davie to American Gen. Nathanael Greene reporting on the search for military supplies in the Carolinas in 1781.