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Henry G. Connor (Henry Groves), 1852-1924
The Convention of 1835
Raleigh: Edwards & Broughton Printing Company, 1908.


North Carolina judge Henry Groves Connor (1852-1924) wrote this brief history of the North Carolina constitutional convention of 1835. Published in 1908, Connor's article discusses several reasons for re-writing the state's constitution, which had been in place since 1776. Chief among them are the unequal representation of the state's eastern and western sections, the burning of the state's capitol at Raleigh, and the subsequent question of whether to move the capital to Fayetteville.

Under the 1776 constitution, certain towns and boroughs were allowed to send their own elected representatives to the General Assembly. The question of whether to continue this practice begins on page 11. In addition, prior to 1835, free African Americans, while not specifically authorized to vote, were not explicitly prohibited from the polls, and, in fact, from 1776 to 1835 many did participate in North Carolina's elections. The discussion of free African Americans' loss of suffrage begins on page 12. The question of how to balance representation in the state legislature between the eastern and western sections of the state can be found on page 14. Beginning on page 19, Connor discusses the debate surrounding the stipulation that non-Protestants could not hold state office, an issue that came to the forefront when William Gaston, a Catholic, was elected to the state supreme court in 1833.

Work Consulted: William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, vol. 1, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1979.

Kevin Cherry

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