Special Session Commemorates the Halifax Resolves and Holden Pardon

The General Assembly in special session in the Old Senate Chamber

As onlookers gathered in the Old Senate Chamber of the State Capitol, they were aided in their appreciation of the affairs of state by members of the North Carolina Symphony. 

Musicians Jimmy Gilmore, recently retired principal clarinet; Elizabeth Beilman, associate principal cello; and Rebekah Binford, assistant concertmaster, performed "The Old North State," which was adopted by the General Assembly as the state song in 1927.

 

What an occasion to recall the words of the first two verses:

Carolina! Carolina! Heaven's blessings attend her!
While we live we will cherish, protect and defend her;
Tho' the scorner may sneer at and witlings defame her,
Still our hearts swell with gladness whenever we name her.

 

Hurrah! Hurrah! The Old North State Forever!
Hurrah! Hurrah! The good Old North State!

 

Tho' she envies not others, their merited glory,
Say whose name stands the foremost, in Liberty's story,
Tho' too true to herself e'er to crouch to oppression,
Who can yield to just rule a more loyal submission?

 

Hurrah! Hurrah! The Old North State forever!
Hurrah! Hurrah! The good Old North State!

"The Old North State" was written by William Gaston and composed by Mrs. E. E. Randolph.

Hear an Archival Recording of the State Song

April 2011 also marks the 235th anniversary of the Halifax Resolves, in which North Carolina’s Fourth Provincial Congress urged that the American Colonies demand their independence. The Halifax Resolves were approved on July 2, 1776. Two days later the body approved the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson.

Learn More About the First Colonial Cry for Independence

William Woods Holden

Yesterday at the Capitol, history buffs got a two’fer.  The Senate was scheduled to hold a special session in the Capitol to commemorate the Halifax Resolves, and decided to make some history in the chamber again. In a 48-0 vote, the senators voted to pardon Governor William Holden (1868-1870) who was impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate in 1870.

Holden, a Republican, was impeached by the then Democratic-controlled General Assembly after sending a militia to quell Ku Klux Klan activity in Alamance and Caswell counties. That activity had led to the death of black and white citizens, including a Republican senator.

More on W. W. Holden and His Impeachment

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