William Tryon, one of the most notorious royal governors of North Carolina, was born in England in 1729. Although he did not receive a formal education, Tryon’s family was well-esteemed, and his wife’s friendship with Lord Hillsborough led to his appointment as lieutenant governor of North Carolina in 1764. Tryon encountered heavy rebellion during the Regulator Movement and he was later relocated to serve as governor of the New York colony. He died on January 27, 1788, in England.
Author: Jonathan Martin
One of the first females to practice medicine in the United States, Dr. Susan Dimock was born in Washington, North Carolina in 1847. Dimock trained under a local doctor before moving to Boston after the Civil War. Although she was denied entrance into Harvard Medical School, she moved to Europe where she attended the University of Zurich. She practiced medicine in Boston for several years, but in 1875, at 28 years of age she died after her ship wrecked off the coast of England.
Born in Martin County in 1811, Asa Biggs grew up in the area to become a lawyer in the Williamson region. Biggs was admitted to the bar in 1831 and a high point of his career occurred when he helped codify North Carolina’s law in 1854. As both a judge and U.S. senator, Biggs remained a Democrat that supported state rights and slavery.
The first popularly elected Senator of North Carolina, Lee S. Overman served in the U.S. Senate for almost thirty years. Overman, born in Salisbury, graduated from Trinity College in 1874, and later served as secretary to both Governor Vance and Jarvis. Elected to the Senate in 1903, Overman remained an ardent Democrat, supporting President Wilson during the height of World War I and supporting the creation of the Department of Labor.
Willie Mangum, born in 1792 in Durham County, served as a North Carolina Senator for nearly 20 years. Mangum studied at the University of North Carolina in 1815, and was admitted to the state bar in 1817. In 1823, Mangum was elected to the national House of Representatives, and in 1830 he became a N.C. Senator. During President John Tyler’s tenure, Mangum served as the Senate president pro tempore.
As a prevalent burial place for prominent North Carolinians, Riverside Cemetery continues to keeps the stories of Zebulon B. Vance, Thomas Wolfe, and O. Henry accessible to onlookers and history enthusiasts. Riverside Cemetery, an 87 acre burial plot, overshadows the French Broad River, attracting numerous tourists to its serene landscape. The cemetery was founded in 1885 and it has since remained an important cultural and historic venue in Buncombe County.
Guilford College was founded by the Society of Friends (Quaker church) in 1837 as a boarding school. During the Civil War, the institution became a place of Confederate resistance, largely due to the Quaker tradition of equality and pacifism. Today, over 2,700 students study at the institution and it is the third oldest coeducational college in the United States.
Founded by the Presbyterian church in 1837, Davidson College was named in honor of General William L. Davidson, a Patriot soldier who died during the Battle of Cowan’s Ford. Early students helped develop the campus, but after a large endowment by Maxwell Chambers, Davidson College had the largest endowment of any college south of Princeton. Davidson College enrolls approximately 1,700 students, and it offers over twenty different majors.
Senator from 1858 until 1861, Thomas Lanier Clingman supported state rights, slavery, and secession during his time as North Carolina public servant. Clingman attended UNC-Chapel Hill and he became a lawyer in the 1830s. After Senator Asa Biggs resigned from the U.S. Senate, Clingman was appointed to take his position. Although an ardent supporter of secession, Senator Clingman was the last southerner to leave Washington, D.C.
On October 8, 1826, Matt Whitaker Ransom was born in Warren County. After graduating from the University of North Carolina and studying law, Ransom started to practice law in his hometown. Ransom served as a general during the Civil War, after which he served in the Senate for over twenty years, becoming the president pro tempore in the 53rd Congress.