Of Vances and Libraries

Quite possibly the oldest book we have in our library “Memorial Addresses on the Life and Character of Zebulon Baird Vance” was printed by the Government Printing Office in 1895. The book contains memorial addresses from Fred Dubois of Idaho to Charles E. Hooker of Mississippi. When the Vances lived on Reems Creek, their library numbered over 500 books, which is quite the collection even today. For wealthy Americans at the time owning a large number of books would be a way of displaying both their wealth and supposed intellect to guests. In some cases, large collections of books would go unread by the privileged few that owned them, gathering dust as a classy decoration.

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