Richard L. Zuber, North Carolina During Reconstruction (1969)
Richard L. Zuber’s work, North Carolina During Reconstruction, gives a very brief history of North Carolina following the end of the Civil War. Zuber studies various archives from the period to offer a portrayal of Reconstruction in the Old North State to the average reader. Although Zuber’s work is not as in depth as other historians, his book does an excellent job of providing a basic background for the decade following the Civil War in North Carolina.
Zuber analyzes the Kirk-Holden War offering a brief background to the origins of it with the passing of the Shoffner Act, legislation which allowed the Governor to put any county of the state under martial law, and the murders of Councilman Wyatt Outlaw and Senator John W. Stephens. Zuber then explains that Holden’s biggest downfall in the war was the arrest of eighty-two men in Alamance and Caswell Counties and his suspension of their writ of habeas corpus.
Zuber highlights the importance of the 1870 general election in which the Conservatives had won enough seats in Congress to impeach the Governor, and soon did. The House of Representatives came up with eight different charges to try the Governor on and from February 2nd until March 22nd, 1871, the impeachment ensued. Being acquitted of the first two charges for declaring states of insurrection, Holden was subsequently convicted of the other six charges and per a Senate ruling, William Holden was barred from ever holding another state office again.
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