"Today we correct a 140-year-old wrong by officially pardoning Gov. Holden for his actions which were both legally and morally correct."
Sen. Neal Hunt, R-Wake, one of the primary sponsors of the bipartisan resolution
The North Carolina State Senate, meeting in the old Capitol building where it hasn't met regularly in 48 years, voted 48-0 in favor of pardoning Holden, who was impeached in 1870 by the House and convicted by the Senate at the close of a seven-week trial a few months later. The vote was delayed three weeks ago in part because some questioned whether Governor William Woods Holden was worthy of a pardon.
Holden was the first governor removed from office in the United States, the result, according to contemporary historians, of a Democratic-led Legislature bent on harming the Republican for calling out a militia to quell an insurrection in two Piedmont counties that resulted in the killings of white and black citizens.
Speakers on Tuesday said it was a proud moment for North Carolina citizens — black and white, Democrats and Republicans — to unify behind absolving a governor who acted to protect newly freed slaves.
"We have the sons and daughters of former slave owners and the sons and daughters of former slaves coming together to chart a course for North Carolina," said Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham.
Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Senate-agrees-to-posthumous-pardon-for-NC-governor-1332977.php#ixzz1JPIu3Cis