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Morehead, John Motley

Known as the “Father of Modern North Carolina,” John Motley Morehead was the 29th governor of the Tar Heel State from 1841-1845. 

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Swain

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.

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Iredell, James, Jr. (1788-1853)

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.

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Holt, Thomas Michael (1831-1896)

An industrialist who later entered into the political arena as a friend of farmers, Thomas Michael Holt served North Carolina as its 47th governor.  His administration is known for supporting higher education and returning elective control to localities.

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Carr, Elias (1839-1900)

Never politically ambitious, Elias Carr represents what some scholars have called the last in a “fading tradition of planter governors.”   The Edgecombe County native and Democrat with Populist tendencies served as governor from 1893 to 1897.   During the last two years of his administration, Carr’s vision was tempered by Fusion politics.

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Craig, Locke (1860-1924)

Lesser known than his Progressive predecessors, including Governor Charles B. Aycock, the “Little Giant of the West” nevertheless implemented significant conservation and transportation programs. Early in his political career, Locke Craig was a Populist who supported William Jennings Bryan’s presidential candidacies; however, the Buncombe countian soon worked to help the White Supremacy movement regain control of North Carolina, became a Democrat who served in the North Carolina House and lost the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.  He became Governor of North Carolina in 1912.

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Burke, Thomas (1744-1783)

Born in Ireland in 1747, Thomas Burke protested the Stamp Act, served in the North Carolina provincial congresses, at the Halifax Convention, and at the Continental Congress, and served as Governor of North Carolina.  His perseverance at the Continental Congress was instrumental for the inclusion of Article II in the Articles of Confederation.  If he had lived, Burke undoubtedly would have been an Antifederalist during the ratification debates and a formidable intellectual foe for James Iredell.

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Scott, William Kerr

William Kerr Scott, from Alamance County was the governor of North Carolina from 1949-1953. As the first farmer-governor of the Tar Heel State since 1892, Scott spearheaded agriculture issues and emphasized building roads and expanding electricity into rural North Carolina.