20 September 1862: “the legislature, if convened, would be cramped & hampered by the forms of the Constitution…”

Item transcription: Letter, 20 September 1862, from Weldon Nathaniel Edwards, Ridgeway, N.C., to William Alexander Graham, Hillsboro, N.C.

The letter concerns the prospect of convening, in late 1862, a legislative convention in North Carolina. Edwards served as the president of the original 1861 Secession Convention and, according to the letter, has been asked to bring the body back into session. He writes to Graham, confidentially, for advice on the matter. Edwards, includes excerpts of a letter he has received from Governor Zebulon B. Vance.

[Item transcription available below images.]

Item citation: From folder 200 in the William A. Graham Papers, #285Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

[confidential]
Poplar Mount near Ridgeway, N.C. 20th Sept. -62

My dear Sir,

A few days since I wrote you, asking your views in regard to the propriety of calling the convention, having learnt that applications would be made to me to do so. I yesterday rec’d. a letter from Gov. Vance, the substance of which it is proper to communicate with you.

After attending to the dispatches of our People & the prospective burdens upon the public Fisc – almost unparalleled – he says he is “powerless to remedy any of the evils,” and that “the legislature, if convened, would be cramped & hampered by the forms of the Constitution,” & concludes, “In view of these & many other suggestions, which I cannot elaborate in a brief letter, I feel it my duty to urge it upon you to assemble that Body’ (the Convention)’ together as soon as possible to adopt such remedies as it may deem best for the disorders of our country.” &c He further adds “Earnestly hoping , sir, that you may concur with me in the propriety of the course, &c., &c., &c.” I am &c.

This appeal it seems to me, greatly strengthens the applications which will come up to me in the form of memorials and which I am in daily expectation of. Please let me hear from you soon all your views on this subject. Excuse the Haste in which I write I am obliged to hurry for to days mail.

Accept assurances of my best wishes and high regard and esteem,
Very truly yrs.,
W.N. Edwards

Hon. Wm. A. Graham
Hillsboro, N.C.

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