Saturday, February 29, 1868
The Convention was called to order on Saturday at 10 o’clock, Mr. Pres. Cowles in the Chair.
The session began with complaints about the press. Mr. Tourgee complained of an insinuation in the morning papers that he was a horse-thief. Mr. McDonald, of Chatham, said it had been stated at different times, in certain dirty, filthy sheets, that he was “the ass of the Convention.” He continued with appreciable laughter from delegates, ”if the editors of the Wilmington Star, Old North State and Carolinian, were gotten together there would be a trio of asses.” Mr. Candler noted continuing violations of a reporter of the Carolinian in the lobbies. No action was taken.
In regard to the constitution, the “Suffrage Question” was postponed until Chairman Pool returned. Instead, delegates considered the Majority Report of the Committee on Homesteads. This led to lengthy debate on debts. Near the end of this debate Mr. Candler said he would inform the Convention that eleven counties beyond the Ridge stood here to say what he did. The delegate from Wake (Mr. Harris] had never been there. And if this homestead law repudiated private debts, he would oppose it. This led to the following exchange:*
Mr. Rich: It is a question of geography—is North Carolina, Buncombe, or Buncombe, North Carolina?
Mr. Candler: I am from the State of Buncombe, if that will suit you.
Mr. Harris, of Wake: I have traveled over Western North Carolina.
Mr. May: Let there be a return of good feeling. If constitutional protection could be given, it should be. The difference was about a mere matter of policy. I will vote as I believe the majority of his people would do, if here.
Without resolution, 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Ferrell, Joseph, ed., Compilation of the Official Report of the Proceedings of the Convention (Chapel Hill, N.C.: unpublished manuscript 2007).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.)
*The debate and other quotes are close to verbatim from the reported resources with some adjustment to put all comments in first person, present tense.