FOUNDER OF THE ASHEVILLE CITIZEN TIMES WAS A WHITE SUPREMACIST AND LEADER OF THE KU KLUX KLAN –

FOUNDER OF THE ASHEVILLE CITIZEN TIMES WAS A WHITE SUPREMACIST AND LEADER OF THE KU KLUX KLAN –

In wake of Asheville City Councils vote to remove the Vance Monument Skyline is taking a look back in time to see what local cities, streets, and schools are named after slave owners. We are also looking at local businesses that were founded by slave owners or white supremacists. Our first business is the Asheville Citizen Times.

In 1869, Randolph Abbott Shotwell was the founder of the Asheville “Citizen” when he was 23 years of age. Shotwell had also been a Confederate soldier with the 8th Virginia Infantry.

After the Civil War, Shotwell’s political activities made him a leader in the Ku Klux Klan. Shotwell used his editing skills to justify the atrocities of the Ku Klux Klan in the local media. He also used his three newspapers, the Asheville Citizen and two others in New Bern and Rutherford, to attack Republicans and their efforts for racial equality.

His involvement with the Klan landed him a prison sentence after being arrested on July 5th 1871. He was convicted to 6 years confinement at Albany NY and fined $5000.00.

Shotwell was offered an immeadiate pardon if he would implicate Democrat politicians involved with the Ku Klux Klan. He refused and was sent to the federal penitentiary.

In 1872, Shotwell finally revealed the names of prominent Democrat politicians involved with the KKK. Upon the reveal, Republican President Ulysses Grant gave him an unconditional pardon. The Democrat politicians Shotwell implicated served prison time for their involvement with the KKK.

A monument to Stockwell resides in the Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh North Carolina. The monument was erected by the State of North Carolina.

Sources – UNC Historical Education Dept,
Doc South, NC State Archives

Questions –

Should the Asheville Citizen Times change their name?

Should the Asheville Citizen Times dissolve their corporate business?

Should the Asheville Citizen Times building be demolished?

Should the Asheville Citizen Times reporters and staff be held accountable for atrocities that happened 150 years ago?

Should the bones of Asheville Citizen Times founder Randolph Shotwell be dug up and removed?