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"Governor W. W. Holden," June 24, 1865


"Governor W. W. Holden," June 24, 1865


The article was written on June 24, 1865 by employees of Harper’s Weekly, a Republican newspaper, to share its opinions on the Reconstruction efforts in North Carolina with a broad audience. The article argued that President Andrew Johnson’s policies on Reconstruction in North Carolina reflected his larger policies on reconstructing the South and should be examined carefully. The article then described the beliefs of President Johnson and North Carolina Governor William Holden. President Johnson believed that the South was deprived of a constitutional government during the war and in order to get back to that, he appointed Governor Holden to bring the republican form of government back to the state. The article outlined some of the plans for the state and then introduced Governor Holden to its readers with a brief biography. The author described him as a man of the people: his instincts all republican, and most importantly, he laid the blame for the war on the white Southern aristocracy. As the article happily pointed out, “Mr. Holden's past record is one which in many important respects is favorable.”


Harper’s Weekly


"Governor W. W. Holden," Harper's Weekly, June 24, 1865, HarpWeek, accessed October 31, 1864,




Ryan Eubanks




North Carolina

Original Format

Newspaper Article


President Johnson's policy in regard to the State of North Carolina is an indication of his general policy of reconstruction, and is therefore worthy of the most careful attention. The President takes the ground that the rebellion has deprived the people of North Carolina of all civil government, and as the United States Government is under a solemn constitutional obligation to guarantee to every State a republican form of government, he therefore appoints a Provisional Governor whose duty it shall be, at the earliest period, to prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary and proper for convening a convention, composed of delegates to be chosen by the loyal people of the State. In order to become either an elector or a member of this convention the subscription to the amnesty oath is necessary. This oath binds those taking it to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, the union of the States, and all the laws and proclamations made during the rebellion in relation to the emancipation of slaves.

The person chosen by the President as Provisional Governor of North Carolina is William W. Holden, previously known as the editor of the Raleigh Progress. Most important is the office to which Mr. Holden has been assigned. It is beset with many difficulties. The State of North Carolina appears to be rent with factions, and Mr. Holden will find that many of these are hostile to him. His course must be firm or his administration will prove a failure. It is evident, however, that President Johnson has confidence in Mr. Holden's ability to meet the emergencies of the crisis.

Like the President himself, Mr. Holden has risen from among the people. His instincts are all republican. He lays the crime of the recent rebellion to the charge of the Southern aristocracy. Mr. Holden's past record is one which in many important respects is favorable. We sincerely hope that he will win for himself the enviable glory of having saved his State from political traitors, and of having secured equal justice to all its citizens whether high or low, whether white or black.


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Harper’s Weekly, "Governor W. W. Holden," June 24, 1865, Civil War Era NC, accessed May 26, 2024,