A Bertie County native, a College of New Jersey (Princeton University) graduate, and part of the Marache Club, David Stone served not only as Governor of North Carolina (1808-1810) but also as a state legislator in the House of Commons (1790-1795, 1810-1811), as a U.S. Representative (1799-1801), and as a U.S. Senator (1801-1807, 1812-1814). As governor he worked to protect personal property rights and promoted education in the Jeffersonian spirit. As a US Senator, he was censured by the General Assembly for opposing war efforts.
Stone’s political career began shortly after he embarked on a legal career. During the ratification debates, Stone, a Federalist lawyer, served as a delegate at the Fayetteville convention (1789). A year later, he started his political service.
During his time in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, Stone acquired a reputation for being a political independent. Although he was a Federalist, Stone voted more as a Jeffersonian Republican. As a member of the Marache Club, Stone was instrumental in helping Jefferson win the 1800 presidential election. The General Assembly twice elected Stone to be a U.S. Senator. During his last term (1812-1814), Stone opposed war efforts and never changed his position even when hostilities started. The General Assembly censured Stone in 1814, and he then resigned and retired from public office.
As governor of North Carolina (1808-1810), Stone worked to protect Tar Heels’ property rights from landclaims of Lord Granville’s heirs. He also worked to improve education and internal improvements.
After his resignation from the U.S. Senate in 1814, Stone returned to North Carolina. He died four years later at Restdale Plantation (his other plantation, Hope, was in his native Bertie County).
Michael Hill, ed., The Governors of North Carolina (Raleigh, 2007) and William S. Powell, North Carolina Through Four Centuries (Chapel Hill, 1989).