General John R. Coffee, soldier in the War of 1812

I have always maintained that the tension between preservationists and developers is more complicated that the good vs. evil narrative we usually hear. Change is inevitable, and individuals have a right to live in the present how they wish. That said, there is another Wal-Mart controversy developing in Alabama that is especially sensitive; the organization hopes to build a store in the small town of Florence that may or may not impinge upon a slave cemetery dating back to the early nineteenth century. The property was originally owned by General John R. Coffee, a veteran of the War of 1812 and friend of Andrew Jackson. Surveys so far have been inclusive and historical records, as one might imagine, are sketchy at best. This is one we will be watching.

(Hat tip Susan Ingram)