Tag Archives: slavery

Slave Deeds of Buncombe County

When you visit Pack Square in downtown Asheville, you can’t help but notice that monument to Zeublon Vance, Confederate military officer, and former slave owner. It is less well known that the site of Vance monument also marks the location of the courthouse, where slave auctions were once held.

Since the late 1700’s the records of the buying and selling of slaves as property were kept in the Buncombe County Deed Books. These books have now been scanned and digitized by the office of the Register of Deeds. Drew Reisinger, Register of Deeds, and Deborah Miles of the Center for Diversity Education worked to have these records indexed so that this history: the names of the enslaved people, and those who bought and sold them, is no longer hidden away.

The Buncombe County Register of Deeds has produced a video about these deeds and the importance of exposing them to the light of day. These are valuable for family historians, for historians seeking to learn about Western North Carolina’s slaveholding past, and for ordinary citizens, black and white to have a full picture of their community history.