Joseph Carter Abbott was a United States Senator from North Carolina between 1868 and 1871. Carter was also a Union Army colonel during the American Civil War. As a successful newspaperman contributing to many magazines, he had a particular interest in history.
Subject: Civil War
Born in Caswell County, Bedford Brown grew up on his family farm and later attended the University of North Carolina. Brown served in the North Carolina House of Commons and Senate before his service in the U.S. Senate (1829 – 1840). After his resignation, Brown worked on his family farm at Rose Hill.
Mountain pioneers built their cabins in the high valleys and coves of western North Carolina. The Vance family pioneer homestead is nestled in picturesque Reems Creek valley, shadowed by the mountains of the Blue Ridge. Members of this family included five outstanding men of character, each of whose lives was marked by service to the people of North Carolina in local, state, and national capacities.
Incumbent Joseph Abbott lost the U.S. Senate election to political veteran Zebulon Vance in 1870. Abbott filed a complaint concerning Vance’s eligibility to serve in the Senate, relying on the 14th Amendment and its provision that Confederate supporters could not hold office in the U.S. Congress. After a year of deliberations, the Senate Elections Committee ruled in Vance’s favor, but Vance resigned before the committee issued its verdict. Matt Ransom was elected to replace Vance in 1872.
Born in Transylvania County, Augustus Merrimon served as a U.S. Senator from 1873 to 1879 and as Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court from 1889 until 1892. After his service in the Confederate Army, Merrimon became a state superior court judge and he was involved in the impeachment of Governor William Holden. Chief Justice Merrimon died in office on November 14, 1892.
Oakwood Cemetery was founded in 1869 by the Raleigh Cemetery Association. The cemetery encompasses 102 acres and is Raleigh’s oldest private non-profit cemetery.
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.
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.