Tuesday, April 12, 2011

North Carolina: An Utter Disgrace

North Carolina is a State where innocent people are thrown into jail and their lives are destroyed, without so much as an apology, much less compensation. But, it is also a State where the legislative branch has no problem trivializing the most serious issues of justice via the pardon of persons long since dead, who never sought clemency when they were alive. Yes, this is state that has it together.

By a unanimous vote, the State's senate has granted an unrequested and undesired pardon to former Governor William Woods Holden, a strong supporter of secession (you know the thing that led this Nation into its most bloody war) and is reported to have also "opposed rights for blacks." But, as it became apparent that the South would actually be losing the war, Holden found the courage to change his convictions and began cheering for the Radical Republicans (who did so many great things for the South, and the Country as a whole).

Holden's glamorous resume does not end there. He declared "martial law" in two counties and sent in militia to arrest a 100 people - some, who simply made the mistake of being his political and personal enemies. Holden then suspended habeas corpus, in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution. When the formal opinion of a state judge warned him to cease and desist, Holden simply ignored the ruling. When a federal judge agreed, Holden grudgingly released his prisoners. It was a sad day, as Holden had actually planned to have them all tried in military courts. Yep, here we have the makings of the next Robert Redford movie!

To be fair, it is said that Holden "fought" the KKK, and that the KKK hated him. If these are not the ultimate redeeming values, then what are? See story here.


JorgXMcKie said...

Boy, I hope you mean secession. I get really tired of students messing this up.

P.S. Ruckman, Jr. said...

Yes, JorgXMcKie, my immediate family (Southerners) would probably be quite ashamed of that typo. On the other hand, my g-g-grandfather and his brothers (all Yankees from Illinois) would be proud! :-)

John Thacker said...

Governor William Woods Holden, a strong supporter of secession

Incorrect. There are a great many citations about this in this Wikipedia article.

"Throughout the 1840s and 1850s, Holden advocated Southern rights to expand slavery and at times championed the right of secession, but by 1860 he had shifted his position to support the Union.[4] Holden and his newspaper fell out of favor with the state Democratic Party, and he was removed as the state's printer, when he cautiously editorialized against secession in 1860.[5]
In 1861, Holden was sent to a State Convention to vote against secession by the voters of Wake County."

Certainly he voted for secession after Lincoln called for troops to be raised (the final vote was unanimous), but he was far from a "strong supporter." That's why he ran as the unsuccessful "peace candidate" for governor of NC long before the war ended. If you want to continue to be negative, you could say that no one with as changing opinions could be a "strong supporter."

I see you've eliminated the false claim that all the violence was the fault of Holden, since after all there is no question that State Senator John W. Stephens was assassinated and African-American police officer Wyatt Outlaw was lynched.

It's true that he emulated Abraham Lincoln in suspending habeas corpus.

I oppose the pardon, but I feel that you're distorting the history here.

P.S. Ruckman, Jr. said...

:Thanks for your commentary. I admit that I did not consult Wikipedia. I Googled several books and noted what other researchers have noted in newspaper articles.

Certainly nothing I have written contradicts the notion that he ran as a "Peace candidate" before the War ended.

If I am to be given credit for "eliminating" a "false claim" by simply not mentioning it, then you should be generally thrilled by my work. I have, by that measure, eliminated thousands of false claims in this matter! :-)

I guess it is also true that he "emulated" the President who suspended habeas corpus (in the face of two Supreme Court rulings) and he had no problem with the notion of locking up newspapermen who were critical and trying them in military courts (while the civil courts were in operation).

Let's say he "emulated" George W. Bush, shall we?


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