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North Carolina During Reconstruction


North Carolina During Reconstruction


This small book contains small descriptions of pictures, pamphlets, newspapers, and leslation passed during Reconstruction. Its primary purpose however is that it contains specific primary documents in connection with the Kirk-Holden War. This includes the confession of John. G. Lea, Josiah Turner's newspaper, proclamations made by Holden, and writs of Habeus Corpus.


Richard L. Zuber.


Richard L. Zuber, North Carolina During Reconstruction (Raleigh, State Department of Archives and History, 1969).






North Carolina

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The Klan was a threat to the Republican party and to the personal power of Governor Holden almost from the time it became active in North Carolina. The Republicans had befriended the Negroes and and to have their votes to stay in power. If the black voters could be frightened out of politics it was almost certain that the Conservatives would come back into power in the election of 1870. There were other reasons too why Holden and the Republican legislature felt they had to do something about the Klan. IT was the duty of the governor to maintain law and order in the state and to see that every citizen black and white, was protected in his rights and in his person. The state simply could not allow men to take the law into their own hands and go around hanging and shooting people.
Late in 1869 the legislature passed a law called the Shoffner Act. Basically, this law did two things. IT said that the governor could put any county in the state under martial law whenever he decided that the county officers could not keep law and order. The shoffner Act also made it possible for anyone who was being tried for wearing a mask, murder, or conspiracy to have the scene of his trial transferred to a county other than the one in which the crime had occurred. The legislators apparently believed that it would be impossible to convict a Klan member in his own county, and it probably would have been.

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Richard L. Zuber., North Carolina During Reconstruction, Civil War Era NC, accessed July 17, 2024,