of North Carolina's copy of the U.S. Bill of Rights
North Carolina's copy of the Bill of Rights is one of 14 copies of the proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution prepared by three federal clerks in 1789. A copy was drafted for the governor of each of the existing 13 states to peruse as the adoption of the 12 amendments to the Constitution was debated; the other copy was for the federal government. After the ratification of the first 10 amendments in 1791, North Carolina retained custody of its copy of the document.
It is believed that the historic document was taken from the North Carolina State Capitol in 1865 during the Union occupation of Raleigh in the final days of the Civil War. It was recovered in an undercover operation in 2003; dealers were trying to sell the document to a museum in Philadelphia. The Bill of Rights came home to North Carolina in 2005 after 140 years.