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"Another Change in Color," August 3, 1864


"Another Change in Color," August 3, 1864


This newspaper article, from Zebulon B. Vance's Weekly Conservative, calls out his opponent, William Holden, for changing the color of his ballots from white, to buff, then to a pale-yellow-chrome color. Ignoring the slanderous vocabulary riddled throughout the article, it is important to note that Holden had originally disputed the legality of using a different color ballot other than white before he began experimenting with colors of his own in order to resemble Vance's ticket.

This was a struggle that began with Holden influencing his supporters to vote with a folded or rolled-up ballot in order to conceal their voting preferences. In response, Vance changed the collor of his ballot specifically so any spectator to the ballot box would be able to determine at a glance if someone was voting for Holden.

While this article claims no tragedy would befall any individual who voted for Holden, it is apparent that there is some reason that Vance wants to distinguish his votes from his political opponent. Whether the threat was real or not, this seems to be a clear threat of voter intimidation, which Vance used in order to manipulate the voting class in North Carolina.


The Weekly Conservative


Zebulon Baird Vance, "Another Change in Color," Weekly Conservative (Raleigh), August 3, 1864, microfilm, (Raleigh, N.C.: John D. Hyman & Co.) 1864-1865.




William Crouse




Raleigh, North Carolina
Wake County, North Carolina

Original Format

Newspaper Article


Another Change of Color.

Holden first printed his tickets on white paper, as an emblem of peace—then he printed a lot on buff paper, by way of an attempt to counterfeit the color of the Vance tickets: -- but finding that the counterfeit could be easily detected, he has finally printed a lot on orange chrome yellow paper, by way of making his counterfeit approximate the true color more closely. But he is completely fooled again – the counterfeit won’t pass muster – he who runs may see at a glance the difference between the orange chrome and the pale chrome yellow – which latter is the color of the Vance ticket. The Holden ticket is a darker and deeper color than the Vance ticket which is a light pale chrome yellow.

We had no intention of saying anything about the color of tickets that Holden is endeavoring to palm off on the people. He first attempted to make it a crime, not less than a capital felony, because Gov. Vance’s tickets were not printed on white paper. He then perpetrated the same crime he charged upon others by changing the color of his tickets from white to buff – and lastly changed them from buff to a deep chrome yellow. It is all right for Mr. Holden to print his tickets on three different colors – but because we have printed Gov. Vance’s tickets of one color, the crime is unpardonable, and can be atoned for only in purgatory, or a worse place.

Let it be known, then, at the ballot-box, that he who votes a light chrome yellow ticket, votes for Z. B. Vance – and that he wo votes a deep chrome yellow ticket votes for W. W. Holden.

We do not deny to any citizen the privilege to vote for whom he pleases, or the kind of ticket he pleases, whether white, buff, light chrome yellow, deep chrome yellow, blue, red, orange – in a word, any one of the seven colors, or any modification of either – or whether it be folded, or “rolled up,” or “spread open.” But, at the same time, we think it is much more creditable to a free citizen, to go to the polls and vote an open ticket. Whatever may be thought of any one who may vote for Holden, no one will kill him or hurt him for the act. If any one is so deluded as honestly to desire to vote for the great secession agitator, by all means let him have a Holden ticket, and let him fold it up, and vote it. We feel confident he will regret it in after years, and deplore his inability to recall it. But let every one vote for Holden that wishes.


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The Weekly Conservative, "Another Change in Color," August 3, 1864, Civil War Era NC, accessed July 14, 2024,