of Historic Documents
The North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State is one of the oldest government
institutions in the state. Our agency serves as guardian of some of the state's
most important historic documents. We invite you to take a tour of our Archive of
Historic Documents. To view sample pages from these documents click on the titles.
House & Senate Journals
Like many legislatures throughout the English speaking world, North Carolina's General
Assembly has kept detailed records of events that occur each day during the legislative
session. This extract is taken from the 1823 session of the N.C. Senate.
This volume is the oldest legislative journal still in the agency's possession.
All of the laws passed in each session of the General Assembly are compiled into
a single reference work. This page from the 1864 adjourned session of the General
Assembly lists some of the resolutions adopted by the legislature at the height
of the Civil War.
Book of Oaths
Since 1889, the N.C. Department of the Secretary of State has kept the North Carolina
Book of Oaths. These are the oaths of office sworn by all members of the Council
of State, including the governor. This 1901 oath was sworn by Charles B. Aycock
when he took office as Governor.
North Carolina Manual
The N.C. Department of the Secretary of State has, for at least the past century,
compiled information about state and county governments in North Carolina and published
that information in one volume -- the North Carolina Manual. This sample
page is the biography of Governor Joseph Melville Broughton which was published
in the 1943 edition of the North Carolina Manual.
NC Session Laws of 1866
The first session of the General Assembly following the collapse of the Confederacy
left legislators with the difficult task of rebuilding the state's constitutional
government. This selection from the 1866 Session Laws provides an example of the
issues facing the legislature in the immediate post-war era.
Constitutional Convention Journal
North Carolina's re-admittance to the Union following the Civil War depended, in
large part, on adopting a state constitution acceptable to federal authorities.
This extract from the Constitutional Convention of 1868 offers a glimpse of the
deliberations that led to the state's first post-war constitution.