North Carolina in the 1800s

North Carolina General Assembly - 1801 to 1900

Gen. Ass'y No.

House of Commons

Senate

26th

1801

1801

27th

1802

1802

28th

1803

1803

29th

1804

1804

30th

1805

1805

31st

1806

1806

32nd

1807

1807

33rd

1808

1808

34th

1809

1809

35th

1810

1810

36th

1811

1811

37th

1812

1812

38th

1813

1813

39th

1814

1814

40th

1815

1815

41st

1816

1816

42nd

1817

1817

43rd

1818

1818

44th

1819

1819

45th

1820

1820

46th

1821

1821

47th

1822

1822

48th

1823-1824

1823-1824

49th

1824-1825

1824-1825

50th

1825-1826

1825-1826

51st

1826-1827

1826-1827

52nd

1827-1828

1827-1828

53rd

1828-1829

1828-1829

54th

1829-1830

1829-1830

55th

1830-1831

1830-1831

56th

1831-1832

1831-1832

57th

1832-1833

1832-1833

58th

1833-1834

1833-1834

59th

1834-1835

1834-1835

60th

1835

1835

Dissatisfied with the central role of the General Assembly, a state Constitutional Convention was called in 1835. Out of this Convention came many amendments. Click Here for details of those amendments.

The State was divided into fifty (50) districts with the number of Senators based on the population of each individual district. Membership in the House of Commons was set at one hundred-twenty (120), with representation based on the population of each county. The more-populous counties had more representatives, but each county was entitled to at least one representative. Representation in each chamber would be adjusted based on the federal census taken every ten years. The numbers of Senators and Representatives have remained constant to the present day, however, the number of Senatorial districts has changed over time.

The convention’s proposed changes were adopted by vote of the people on November 9, 1835.

Borough (or individual town) representation was abolished, biennial sessions of the legislature were instituted, the governorship was changed to a two-year elective office, the poll tax (or head tax) was equalized, the word “Protestant” was changed to “Christian” in Article 32 of the old Constitution, the free black vote was eliminated, property requirements for voting and holding office were reduced, an amendment process was adopted, and impeachment provisions were introduced. The General Assembly retained the power to adjust districts and representation.

Click Here for more details of the 1835 Constitutional Convention.

Gen. Ass'y No.

House of Commons

Senate

61st

1836-1837

1836-1837

62nd

1838-1839

1838-1839

63rd

1840-1841

1840-1841

64th

1842-1843

1842-1843

65th

1844-1845

1844-1845

66th

1846-1847

1846-1847

67th

1848-1849

1848-1849

68th

1850-1851

1850-1851

69th

1852

1852

70th

1854-1855

1854-1855

71st

1856-1857

1856-1857

72nd

1858-1859

1858-1859

73rd

1860-1861

1860-1861

74th

1862-1863

1862-1863

75th

1864-1865

1864-1865

76th

1865-1866

1865-1866

77th

1866-1867

1866-1867

In 1868, the Federal Government mandated that North Carolina revise its Constitution. It was a major reorganization and modification of the original into fourteen articles. It also introduced townships which each county was required to create, the only southern state to do so at that point in time. The House of Commons was renamed as the House of Representatives. The Speaker of the Senate was abolished and the newly-created Lt. Governor became the President of the Senate when it was in session; next in line became the President Pro Tempore elected by members.

The Constitution of 1868, ratified by North Carolinians by a vote of 93,086 to 74,016, was a relatively progressive document that borrowed from the previous state constitutions and added new provisions. It abolished slavery and provided for universal male suffrage. The power of the people to elect representatives and other officeholders-including key officials in the executive branch, judges, and county officials-was greatly expanded.

Voters' rights were increased, with male citizens no longer required to own property or meet specific religious qualifications in order to vote. The position of governor was again strengthened with increased powers and a four-year term. A constitutionally-based court system was established, county and town governments and a public school system were outlined, and the legislature's methods of raising revenue by taxation were codified.

Click Here to view or download a copy of the 1868 NC State Constitution.

Gen. Ass'y No.

House of Representatives

Senate

78th

1868-1869

1868-1869

79th

1870-1872

1870-1872

80th

1872-1874

1872-1874

81st

1874-1875

1874-1875

82nd

1876-1877

1876-1877

83rd

1879-1880

1879-1880

84th

1881

1881

85th

1883

1883

86th

1885

1885

87th

1887

1887

88th

1889

1889

89th

1891

1891

90th

1893

1893

91st

1895

1895

92nd

1897

1897

93rd

1899

1899
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