Gov. Mike Easley speaking during the Aug. 4, 2005 ceremony at the State Capitol

Gov. Mike Easley speaking during the Aug. 4, 2005
ceremony at the State Capitol

Bill of Rights Returns Home

On Aug. 4, 2005, Gov. Mike Easley accepted North Carolina's original copy of the Bill of Rights during a ceremony in the old Senate Chamber at the State Capitol. One of the fourteen original copies of the Bill of Rights commissioned by George Washington for the thirteen colonies and the federal government, the document was taken from the State Capitol during the Civil War.

"North Carolina's stolen Bill of Rights may have been out-of-state for nearly 140 years, but never out of mind," Gov. Easley said. "I am pleased to accept this document on behalf of the state and look forward to having a grand celebration when we make it available to the citizens and school children across North Carolina."

The Bill of Rights has resurfaced several times, most notably in 1925 and 1995 when offers to sell the document back to the State of North Carolina were rejected by state officials. The document's value has been estimated at between $30 million and $40 million, but as far as North Carolina's history is concerned, it is priceless. The Bill of Rights is being housed in the State Archives of North Carolina, where archivists will begin studying conservation options.

For more information about the search for the North Carolina's copy of the Bill of Rights, please visit the following pages which include text orginally published in the April 2004 (pdf) edition of Carolina Comments:

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State Archives of North Carolina | Department of Cultural Resources | © 2005 NC Office of Archives and History.