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Memoirs of W. W. Holden (1911)


Memoirs of W. W. Holden (1911)


This is a collection of letters written by William Woods Holden, prior, during, and after the Civil war. It includes letters about the KKK and his actions as governor as well as responses to his impeachment. This specific report is on pages 121-122 where Governor Holden is asking the general assembly to actually give him the power to deal with the Ku Klux Klan. This is what actually led the assembly to passing the Schofner act which gave the Governor the ability to formulate a mliitia and deal with areas that were under "states of Insurrection." This then, led to the Kirk-Holden war. The two counties that were under a state of insurrection would be Alamance and Caswell counties.


Governor William Woods Holden


Holden, William Woods. Memoirs of W. W. Holden: Electronic Edition. Durham: The Seeman Printery, 1911. accessed January 18, 2012.


Raleigh, North Carolina

Original Format



Executive Department, Raleigh,
December 16, 1869.

To the Honorable, the General Assembly of North Carolina.

Gentlemen: — Allow me respectfully and earnestly to call your attention to the necessity which exists for such amendments to the militia law as will enable the executive to suppress violence and disorder in certain localities of this State, and to protect the persons of citizens, their lives and their property.

Since my last annual message, dated Nov. 16th, 1869, numerous outrages of the most flagrant character have been committed upon peaceable and law-abiding citizens, by persons masked and armed, who rode at night, and who have thus far escaped the civil law. I have adopted such measures as were in my power to ferret out and bring to justice all breakers of the law, without reference to their color or to the political party or parties to which they belong, and I am satisfied that Judge and solicitors in the various circuits have been prompt, energetic and impartial in the discharge of their duties. Notwithstanding this, Gentlemen, the outrages referred to seem to be rather on the increase in certain localities in so much that many good citizens are in a constant state of terror and society in said localities is in a deplorable condition. It is for your honorable body to apply the remedy by so strengthening the arm of the executive as to enable him to repress these outrages and restore peace and order. I have confidence in your wisdom, in your regard for law, and in the disposition which I feel sure exists in every member of your honorable body to adopt such measures as will speedily put an end to the evils complained of.
I have the honor to be, Gentlemen, with great respect,

Your obedient servant,
W. W. Holden, Governor.


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Governor William Woods Holden, Memoirs of W. W. Holden (1911), Civil War Era NC, accessed April 14, 2024,