Horton Residence Hall

Horton Residence Hall opened in 2002, one of four new dorms completed around the same time (Craige North, Koury, and Hardin were the others). The smaller dorms were an effort to bring more of a traditional campus feel to South Campus, which had been dominated by the high-rise dorms built in the 1960s and 1970s. The dorms, which included seminar rooms to bring residence and academic life closer together, were in high demand among students when they first opened.

Originally named Hinton James North, the building was renamed in 2007 for George Moses Horton. An enslaved African American writer living in Chatham County, just south of Chapel Hill, Horton was a presence on campus for many years in the early to mid-nineteenth century. He initially came to Chapel Hill to sell produce, but students and local residents soon discovered his talent for writing and memorizing poetry. He sold love poems to students, who were said to have passed them off as their own. Assisted by Caroline Hentz, the wife of a faculty member, in 1829 Horton published A Hope for Liberty, a collection of poems, making him the first African American man to publish a book in the South. Horton published another book in 1845 and drew the attention of local residents and UNC administrators. Yet he remained enslaved, finally escaping at the end of the Civil War with a Michigan regiment on its way north. Horton lived the remainder of his life in Philadelphia.