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Day 1 of the Convention

Tuesday, January 14, 1868

Commons Hall (House Chambers) of the State Capitol

House Chambers in the State Capitol Building, 2009

The convention met briefly on its first day, with a focus on initial steps for organizing the work of the convention. The Republican Party caucus had met in advance of this day and had selected Mr. Issac Kinney of Davidson to call the convention to order. Mr. P. Hodnett of Caswell objected to this process but accepted a motion made on the floor. As soon as Mr. Kinney called the convention to order, he moved that Mr. R.W. King of Lenoir be made temporary president.

In the only substantive speech of the day, Mr. King set the expectation for this convention:

Allow me to congratulate you on the fact that a loyal Convention, chosen by the people, is about to begin the great work of framing a Constitution of government, under which the State will be speedily restored to its place in the Union. Let us bring to this work a feeling of paramount attachment to the national government and a fixed purpose to make a Constitution that will secure, beyond all question, equal political and civil rights and privileges to all our people, and thus institute a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, for this and coming generations.


The delegates discussed whether and how to establish the credentials of the delegates present but no action was taken.

On motion the convention adjourned.

Ann McColl

Ann McColl is an attorney and state constitutional scholar.