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Essays on freedom and North Carolina's Bill of Rights published

RALEIGH – In celebration of the March 2008 Wake County Superior Court ruling that North Carolina’s copy of the Bill of Rights belonged to the state, the Historical Publications Section of the Office of Archives and History has published “Liberty and Freedom: North Carolina’s Tour of the Bill of Rights,” edited by Kenrick N. Simpson. 

The Bill of Rights was taken to the people at seven locations throughout the state in 2007on the “Liberty and Freedom, North Carolina’s Tour of the Bill of Rights” road trip. The seven essays in this volume were presented as keynote addresses by their authors at the venues of the tour. 

Charlene Bangs Bickford, project director of the First Federal Congress Project at George Washington University, writes about the events surrounding the creation and ratification of the Bill of Rights. Attorneys W. Dale Talbert and Karen A. Blum discuss the history of the North Carolina’s copy of the Bill of Rights, especially the legal efforts to prove the State’s ownership of the document. 

Historians Williams S. Price Jr., Alan D. Watson and Freddie L. Parker examine respectively freedom of the press, freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Attorney and civil rights advocate Julius L. Chambers discusses freedom of assembly and the right to petition the government for grievances. Former state Supreme Court Justice Willis P. Whichard analyzes the history of the dual rights of trial by jury and due process of law. See

Simpson is head of the General Publications and Periodicals Branch of the Historical Publications Section. He earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in history from East Carolina University. 

“Liberty and Freedom” (121 pages, illustrated, index, paperback) costs $24, tax and shipping included. Order from the Historical Publications Section (N), Office of Archives and History, 4622 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4622. For credit card orders call (919) 733-7442, ext. 0, or access the Historical Publications Section’s secure online store at “Liberty and Freedom” is also available from 

The Historical Publications Section offers more than 190 North Carolina books, maps and document facsimiles. For a free catalog, write to the address above; call (919) 733-7442, ext. 0; or e-mail Historical Publications ( is administered by the Office of Archives and History, which is part of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (

Carolina Newswire, February 13, 2009.


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