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Davidson’s central academic building is named after Maxwell Chambers, a slave owner whose financial gift after his death helped keep the college afloat in the 1850s
(WCNC) – Davidson College announced Tuesday it will not rename its central academic building that’s named after Maxwell Chambers, a slave owner who helped keep the school afloat before the Civil War.
President Doug Hicks issued a video statement explaining the school’s decision Tuesday following the release of a report on the history of Maxwell Chambers. The report was published by Hilary Green, a professor of Africana studies and Davidson’s public historian, who wrote that Chambers bought and sold plantations, making him a slave trafficker.
Even further, Green’s report says Davidson College received at least five slaves rom Chambers, as well as a cotton factory in Salisbury. Under the conditions of Chambers’ will, the enslaved men were to be hired for two years, after which four would be given their freedom. The factory was later sold to representatives of the Confederacy.
He also left $250,000 to Davidson College in his will. That gift is equal to about $9 million today. The money briefly made Davidson the wealthiest college in the South, but the school never collected the full amount, Green’s report states.
Hicks said at the time of Chambers’ gift, nearly every president, faculty member and trustee at Davidson was a slave holder, saying Chambers’ history…