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Created by Struthers & Co. from Philadephia, Pennsylvania, the Joseph Caldwell Monument at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill serves as the resting place of the former University of North Carolina President Joseph Caldwell, his wife Helen Caldwell, and her son William Hopper. The monument was dedicated to Caldwell on June 2, 1858, 23 years after his death.


  • The Joseph Caldwell Monument.
  • Joseph Caldwell

Joseph Caldwell was a Professor of Mathematics at the University of North Carolina in 1796, and he later became the first president of the university from 1804 to 1812. He returned to his professorship in 1812 but returned as president from 1816 to 1835. This was the only official leadership position at the time, and during his time as president, the university saw increases in enrollment. Caldwell fought for primary schooling that would reach statewide that excluded raising taxes. Caldwell also went on to become the governor of North Carolina.

Caldwell owned one enslaved person once he lived in North Carolina. This man was named November Caldwell, and he was Caldwell’s coachman. November was given the last name Caldwell to ensure Joseph Caldwell's ownership of him.

When Caldwell passed away on January 27, 1835, November worked as a servant under the ownership of the university. November's house was stoned by the Ku Klux Klan in 1869. November’s son Wilson went on to work as a janitor at the university. A monument at Caldwell’s grave was dedicated to him in 1858.

Caldwell’s original memorial was relocated and altered to honor the “faithful” slaves of the university, which included November and Wilson Caldwell, 
David Barham, and Henry Smith; all individuals who were enslaved by the university.  In 1911, the University of North Carolina named a new building after Caldwell, which became Caldwell Hall. 

Joseph Caldwell Monument, UNC, Chapel Hill. Commemorative Landscapes. Accessed November 23, 2018. https://docsouth.unc.edu/commland/monument/201/.

LaBerge, Kami. "Joseph Caldwell Monument." Commemorative Landscapes. Accessed November 25, 2018, https://cdn.lib.unc.edu/commemorative-landscapes/media/monument/201_full.jpg.

Janis, Noah. A Progressive Man and His Modern Building: The Story of Joseph Caldwell and Caldwell Hall. UNC History. Accessed November 23, 2018. http://unchistory.web.unc.edu/building-narratives/caldwell-hall/. 

“Joseph Caldwell (1773-1835),” UNC History, Portrait Collection (P2), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, http://unchistory.web.unc.edu/building-narratives/caldwell-hall/.

“Maps: Caldwell Hall,” UNC History, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, http://unchistory.web.unc.edu/building-narratives/caldwell-hall/

Joseph Caldwell Monument. The Carolina Story: A Virtual Museum of University History. Accessed November 24, 2018. https://museum.unc.edu/exhibits/show/public-art/joseph-caldwell-monument.

Evidence of institutional racism at UNC. Daily Tar Heel. February 20, 2015. Accessed November 24, 2018. https://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2015/02/evidence-of-institutional-racism-at-unc.