A Jacksonian turned Whig politician, John Branch served as three terms as Governor of North Carolina and championed internal improvements in the Tar Heel State. He later held federal posts, including Secretary of Navy, Congressman, and territorial governor of Florida. After the scandalous Eaton Affair, a disenchanted Branch left the Democratic Party to help create a new Whig Party in North Carolina.
A Warren County native, William Miller served as North Carolina’s attorney general and governor. His gubernatorial term spanned across the War of 1812 and he purchased the Canova Statue during the Era of Good Feelings.
Turner was an accomplished governor of North Carolina from 1802 to 1805. Before that, Turner was a soldier during the Revolutionary War, during which he served under the famous General Nathaniel Greene. Turner later became a representative in the House of Commons from 1798 to 1800 and served in the State Senate before reaching the North Carolina governorship in 1802. Turner was best known for his affiliation with Nathaniel Macon, a politician from North Carolina who mentored the Old Republicans.
A surgeon and Revolutionary War Patriot, Alexander was a Jeffersonian who incorporated Federalist policy into his politics. He championed internal improvements and played an instrumental role in the repeal of the Court Act of 1806, thereby allowing each county to have a court. Charlotte Motor Speedway sits on what was his homestead.
A Revolutionary War Patriot, North Carolina Governor, and U.S. Congressman, Williams used a middle-of-the-road strategy to achieve political success with Federalists and Republicans while serving as Governor.
A Randolph County native, Jonathan Worth was a Reconstruction Governor. During the antebellum era, Worth as a state legislator stood against nullification and refused to attend the state secession convention. He became a reluctant Confederate, however. After the South was divided into military districts, Worth refused to run for reelection and was removed from office after William Holden’s election.
A former U.S. Senator who became governor of North Carolina, Montfort Stokes was born in 1762 in Virginia. During his political career, he befriended Andrew Jackson and supported the seventh President’s politics, including denouncing nullification as detrimental to the Union. As a state legislator and governor, Stokes worked harder than most previous governors to further the interests of western North Carolina (Piedmont and the mountains).
Known as the “Father of Modern North Carolina,” John Motley Morehead was the 29th governor of the Tar Heel State from 1841-1845.
The twenty-sixth governor of North Carolina from 1832-1835, David Lowry Swain was born in Buncombe County and later went on to be the third President of the University of North Carolina.
In 1827, Iredell became the twenty-third governor of North Carolina but resigned a year later to fill the North Carolina Senate seat vacated by Nathaniel Macon. Although Iredell relayed the importance of improved roads and waterways during his administration, he led North Carolina when the state’s finances were meager and insufficient for one with visions of implementing internal improvement plans.