Three of North Carolina's ex governors have signed a letter urging a legislative pardon of Reconstruction Gov. William W. Holden, who was impeached because he tried to suppress the Ku Klux Klan.
A letter signed by Democrat Jim Hunt and Republicans Jim Martin and Jim Holshouser urged legislative leaders to correct “a 140-year old wrong.”
“Bi-partisan support passage of it will serve the best interests of our citizens by correcting a grievous wrong that occurred during the partisan divides that plagues our state during the tragic Civil War and tumultuous Reconstruction eras,” the governors wrote.
Holden, a Raleigh Republican and a newspaper editor, was impeached in 1871 in a straight-line party vote by Democratic lawmakers after he sent the state militia into Alamance and Caswell County after several Klan political assassinations.
The resolution was introduced by state Sen. Neal Hunt, a Wake County Republican, but has the backing of Democratic Senators Dan Blue of Raleigh and Doug Berger of Youngsville.