[Raleigh? 1865]. Folio broadsheet, 8" x 12-3/8." Printed on blue paper. A couple of pinholes [affecting two letters of one word]; expertly repaired short, closed margin tear. Very Good. Dated June 12, 1865 in type, signed in type by Holden as Provisional Governor; and by Jos. W. Holden, Private Secretary.
This scarce printed broadsheet is a window on early Reconstruction in the upper South. President Johnson appointed Holden Provisional Governor on May 29, 1865, to restore North Carolina "to its Constitutional relations to the Federal Government," including appropriate Constitutional amendments. Issuing this Proclamation two weeks later, Holden calls a Convention of loyal citizens to accomplish those ends. He urges loyal citizens "who have been driven from the State by despotic power, to return... You have just been delivered by the armies of the Union from one of the most corrupt and rigorous despotisms that ever existed in the world."
Holden offers advice "to the colored people of the State," who "are now free. It now remains for you, aided as you will be by the superior intelligence of the white race, and cheered by the sympathies of all good people, to decide whether the freedom thus suddenly bestowed upon you, will be a blessing to you or a source of injury." He counsels them to "sacredly observe the marriage relation," "provide for your offspring," and "procure instruction" in reading and writing. Moreover, "to be prosperous and happy you must labor, not merely when you feel like it, or for a scanty support, but industriously and steadily. If you are idle you will become vicious and worthless."
OCLC 41533037 [4- U VA, U NC (2), DLC], 772430851 [1- U NC]. Not in Thornton, Hummel, LCP. Item #36942