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Day 49 of the Convention

Tuesday, March 10, 1868

The Convention was called to order on Tuesday at 10 o’clock, Mr. Pres. Cowles in the Chair. 

On this 49th day of the convention, Mr. L.D. Hall of Sampson County was sworn in a member of the Convention, replacing Mr. Williams. [See prior coverage on February 8, March 4, and March 5.]

The report on the committee on the judiciary was taken up. Various amendments were offered and some accepted with a vote on the third and final reading with a vote of yeas – 80, nays – 20.

The report of the Committee on Penal Institutions and Public Charities also passed its third and final reading with a vote of yeas – 79, nays – 11. Section two was amended to allow but not require the General Assembly to make specified crimes punishable by death.

When the Convention reassembled for the evening session at 7:30 p.m. the report of the Committee on Suffrage and Eligibility to Office was taken up and placed on its third and final reading. Various amendments were offered for the oath in Section 2. The oath offered by Mr. Heaton was accepted with the vote of yeas – 74, nays –27.

SEC. 2. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to provide, from time to time, for the registration of all electors, but no person shall be allowed to register without first being required to take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution and laws of the United States, and laws of North Carolina, not inconsistent therewith.


I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and maintain the Constitution and laws of the United States and the Constitution and laws of North Carolina, not inconsistent therewith. So help me God.

According to the Daily Sentinel, “the House became involved in a scene of great confusion. Various points of order were raised, motions to adjourn and deafening calls for the question were heard on all sides, and at last, a motion to adjourn was entertained, put to a vote and carried, amid great confusion.”



Ferrell, Joseph, ed., Compilation of the Official Report of the Proceedings of the Convention (Chapel Hill, N.C.: unpublished manuscript 2007).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.

Ann McColl

Ann McColl is an attorney and state constitutional scholar.