Remembering a governor generous with clemency

On this day in 1905: After commuting a 15-year manslaughter conviction to 6 1/2 years, his last official act, Gov. Charles Brantley Aycock proudly points out to the press his desk’s bare top and empty compartments.

It is an appropriate exit for Aycock, who has set records by extending clemency in 458 cases and granting 369 full pardons. On one occasion, to his embarrassment, he even pardoned a man who had died in prison several months earlier.

Aycock would likely be appalled to see how seldom recent North Carolina governors have used their pardon power.


Labor Day link dump: No love for the guv?

— Discomposed by historical presentism, Democrats cut ties to Aycock — will Vance be next?

— Wilmington’s elegantly downscale Carolina Apartments are remembered for their part in “Blue Velvet.” I was treated to a look inside in 1996, when my wife, Dannye Romine Powell, interviewed artist Claude Howell, who not only lived there but also had been born one floor up in 1915.

—  A mention in “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” ought to be legacy enough for any man, don’t you think? But there’s more.