Skip to content

EdNC. Essential education news. Important stories. Your voice.

Day 11 of the Convention

Saturday, January 25, 1868

The Convention was called to order on Saturday at 11 o’clock, Mr. Pres. Cowles in the Chair.

On this day, the delegates engaged in lengthy discussion regarding political disabilities, ensuring qualifications of delegates, and requirements for taking oaths.

Mr. Tourgee had previously offered a resolution to address that some delegates may be disqualified by Congress’ Military Reconstruction Acts. Mr. Tourgee reminded delegates that “when the Convention was first assembled, the question had been raised as to its power over the qualification of delegates. Upon this question there had been a difference of opinion. Now it had come to him from various sources that there were delegates upon this floor disqualified under the act of Congress of holding a seat in this Convention. Not by any equivocation of language did this disqualification occur, but by the positive words of the law itself. It seemed to him, therefore, if this convention continued in session, containing such delegates, without action or notice of their presence, it would leave the Convention open to the assaults of its enemies inside and outside at the most important stage of its proceedings.”

After further discussion, the resolution was laid on the table.

The Convention then took up a legislative matter, with Mr. Robbins requesting the legislative committee to inquire into the expediency of passing a law, prohibiting the drawing of seines on Sundays of the fishing season in the sounds of Eastern North-Carolina.

Mr. Galloway said that he lived in a fishing district, and “if fish went by on the Sabbath day while the nets were ready, the employer would not excuse the fisherman… Give every body a free scope, and if fishermen are disposed to catch fish on Sunday, the mover of this resolution would no doubt eat them on Monday.”

After further discussion, the resolution was laid on the table.

In another legislative matter, Mr. Welker proposed admission of persons from other States to the bar in this State. Mr. Welker said “there was scarcely another bar in the whole country so exclusive as that of North Carolina. Gentlemen from other States, admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, were not allowed to practice in our County Courts, until examined with men applying for license for the first time. The resolution was referred to the judiciary committee. [Committee on Finance.]7

On motion the Convention adjourned.



Ferrell, Joseph, ed., Compilation of the Official Report of the Proceedings of the Convention (Chapel Hill, N.C.: unpublished manuscript 2007). (See day 8 for fuller explanation of this resource.)

Ann McColl

Ann McColl is an attorney and state constitutional scholar.