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"The Legislature, April 7, 1871"


"The Legislature, April 7, 1871"


The Wilmington Journal was a Democratic newspaper. This article articulated the paper's support for the Democratic-Conservative party. It agreed and adored Democratic legislation and actions they had taken to redeem the state from the awful condition in which it was left. It called Governor Holden, an "insolent and upstart tyrant," as well as an "imbecile." The article explained that the actions taken by Governor Holden and other Republicans had destroyed the state. Commending the Democrats, the paper regarded them as heroes almost for coming in and fixing the errors made by the Republican party and Governor Holden.


The Wilmington Journal


Wilmington Journal. (Wilmington, N.C.), 14 April 1871. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <>




Shanlyn Wagoner




Wilmington, North Carolina

Original Format

Newspaper Article


The General Assembly of the State adjourned on yesterday until the first Monday in November next.

            The merits of Legislative bodies are to be measured, as much by what they may have undone and omitted to do, as by what they many have done. Gauged by off of these standards, the Democratic-Conservative Legislature, which has just adjourned, has satisfied the public expectations and entitled itself to the commendation and applause of the people of the State.

            What has it undone? It has swept from our statue books the infamous Shoffner Act, under color of which the late Governor Holden called his brigade into the field and robbed and maltreated unoffending communities—An act which, when read, in after years, by the lights of dispassion, will excite the horror and the in credulity of those who are to succeed us. It has expunged from our code the villainous system of espionage, which employed low pimps and plunders—the offscouring of society—to nose out domestic and personal privacies, to be tortured into agencies of oppression and insult. It has done away with numerous supernumerary attaches of Executive patronage, who were eating out the substance of the people, and curtailed the pay of others, who were filling sinecure positions. It has repealed legislation, which afforded a covert for the thieves who have despoiled the State Treasury.

            What has it omitted to do? It has wisely omitted (contrary to the false clamor of the Radical leaders, who thereby sought to excite the alarm and arouse the passions of the negroes,) to adopt any legislation, which bears more badly upon the black than the white man. It has not squandered the public money on needless employes and party pets. No doors have been opened by it to admit a horde of greedy and rapacious swindles. The manipulations of men of the “Ring” found no theatre upon which to display their tricks and thieveries.

            What has it done? Much to better the public credit and the State reputation—much looking to alleviate relief from existing evils, that could not be lopped off by a summary process—and very much towards the purification of official morals. It has deposed an insolent and upstart tyrant; it has force a drunken profligate from the judicial bench, which he disgraced; it has given the people of North Carolina, despite the arbitrary action of an accidental Gubernatiorial imbecile and the unbecoming and extra-judicial interference of partisan Judges, an opportunity of expressing their will on the subject of a Convention; it has treated the financial status as skillfully as a bad case would admit of; it has placed our public institutions and charities in competent hands; and its local legislation has been well adapted to the wants and exigencies of those soliciting it.

            In all of this important work the Democratic-Conservative Senators and Representatives of our own immediate section of the State have acted a prominent part and deserve well of their constituents.  To name any would be invidious, where all were actuated by a common, honest and patriotic impulse. 



Wilmington journal. (Wilmington, N.C.), 14 April 1871. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <>



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The Wilmington Journal , "The Legislature, April 7, 1871", Civil War Era NC, accessed June 20, 2024,