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North Carolinians in the Era of the Civil War and Reconstruction$
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Paul D. Escott

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832226

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807837269_escott

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No Longer under Cover(ture): Marriage, Divorce, and Gender in the 1868 Constitutional Convention

No Longer under Cover(ture): Marriage, Divorce, and Gender in the 1868 Constitutional Convention

Chapter:
(p.193) No Longer under Cover(ture): Marriage, Divorce, and Gender in the 1868 Constitutional Convention
Source:
North Carolinians in the Era of the Civil War and Reconstruction
Author(s):

Karin Zipf

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807837269_escott.10

This chapter shows why delegates had little reason to suspect that divorce petitions would consume a significant portion of the docket when the North Carolina Constitutional Convention assembled in January 1868. Delegates, elected by the state's registered voters in November 1867, gathered in Raleigh on January 14, 1868, to discharge their obligations under the Reconstruction Acts. The Reconstruction Acts divided all former Confederate states into military districts and required elections for delegates, who would become responsible for drafting new state constitutions that would bring the states in line with the requirements of Congress. In North Carolina, the vote to hold a constitutional convention passed easily, as the Reconstruction Acts had disfranchised former Confederates in punishment both for their traitorous behavior during the Civil War and for their deep antagonism toward racial equality when they briefly resumed political control in 1865.

Keywords:   divorce petitions, North Carolina, Constitutional Convention, Reconstruction Acts, Confederate states, military districts

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