How about “Malice Toward None” Highway?
The Free Lance–Star published Howard Rice’s Jan. 26 letter to the editor on renaming U.S. Route 1. The letter was informative and made good points about Del. Josh Cole’s proposal to rename the highway in Virginia the “Emancipation Highway.” Rice’s letter clearly made the point that many people may not realize the fine points of what the Emancipation Proclamation accomplished and what it did not. Many believe that it freed all enslaved people, which it did not do.
However, I will confess that I am not exactly on the same page with him that “Emancipation” is not a fitting name because the Emancipation Proclamation did not do all that many believed it did.
Moreover, after reading Mr. Rice’s letter, I was spurred to also think of some other name that might befit the beleaguered Jefferson Davis Highway.
During President Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural speech, he addressed how our nation had been torn asunder. The speech reflected a mournful leader addressing the nation during one of the worst times in the country’s history. Lincoln’s speech was one of compassion and encouragement to help bind up the North’s and South’s wounds.
That is the reason a phrase from President Lincoln’s second inaugural address—“malice toward none”—would be a fitting name to replace the name of Jefferson Davis Highway. I trust it goes a long way as a compromise and is still steeped in history.