From The New-York Times March 23, 1861 (The New York Times Archive
REPORTS FROM NORTH CAROLINA.
GOLDSBORO’, Friday, March 22.
A very large and enthusiastic meeting of the Southern Rights citizens of North Carolina was held to-day, at the Court-house, on which the Southern flag was hoisted. Hon. WELDON M. EDWARDS, of Warren, was in the chair, assisted by six Vice-Presidents.
This evening speeches were made by Hon. M.J. MOSES, of South Carolina, EDWARD RUFFIN, of Virginia, and Gen. YOUNG, of Mecklenburg, N.C.
There is a general outpouring of the people, and the meeting is wild with enthusiasm.
All the districts of the State will, it is reported, be represented by to-night.
The meeting adjourned at five to reassemble at 7 o’clock.
No compromise is wanted, but all are for immediate secession.
About a thousand delegates are present.
You can read more about the Southern Rights meeting of March 22nd and 23rd 1861 and see a portrait of Weldon Nathaniel Edwards, the president of the meeting, at the North Carolina History project. In February North Carolina voters narrowly voted down a proposed secession convention. If there had been a convention “only 39 of the 120 delegates were secessionists.” Secessionists then organized the March 22nd meeting.
At Google Books State rights and political parties in North Carolina–1776-1861
, by Henry McGilbert Wagstaff discusses this states’ rights meeting. A footnote mentions that Goldsboro was selected as the venue because it was secessionist; Raleigh, the logical choice, was unionist.
It was nice of Edmund Ruffin to stop by the meeting – possibly on his on his way to Charleston