Lawyer by profession, planter at heart, Gabriel Holmes’ 1821-1824 term as governor of North Carolina included a push for agricultural reform at the onset of industrialization, an integration of agrarian practices in higher education, and a commitment to the platform of the waning Democratic-Republican Party.
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.
Curtis Hooks Brogden served the state of North Carolina for half a century as a state representative, state senator, state comptroller, U.S. Congressman, lieutenant governor, and finally as the 42nd governor.
Alfred Moore Scales was born on November 26, 1827 in Rockingham County on his family’s plantation, Ingleside. Caldwell first studied at the Caldwell Institute in Greensboro before transferring to the University of North Carolina in 1845. Scales studied law under the tutelage of Judge William Battle and passed the bar exam in 1852.
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.