Gerry Cohen, Director of Bill Drafting for the North Carolina General Assembly since 1981 and former Chapel Hill Council member, maintains a fantastic ‘blog Drafting Musings.

While he usually covers the vagaries of NC’s legislative sausage-making, luckily for his readers he also veers into interesting back-stories of local and state events.

Today he posts the presentation he gave at the annual Capitol Beat opening reception on the “buffalo nose and other tall tales”, one which involves North Carolina’s Reconstruction era 3rd House.

…the Third House was located in the west side of the first floor In 1868, during Reconstruction, an office and a makeshift bar was set up in the West Hall Joint Committee Room by former Union General Milton Littlefield. Due to its regular use by many legislators and officials under General Littlefield’s dubious influence, the room became known as the “Third House” of the legislature.

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