His work influenced politics and law in the years leading up to and following the Revolutionary War.
Luther Hodges was the 64th Governor of North Carolina (1954 to 1961). He also served as United States Secretary of Commerce from 1961 to 1965. Hodges was known for his role in creating Research Triangle Park.
North Carolina’s Executive Mansion is not only home to the Governor, it is the “people’s house.” The building is also a meeting space, historic site, and an elegant event location. In addition, thousands of visitors visit during public tour season and during the holiday open house.
Governor of North Carolina from 1699-1703, when North Carolina was still under proprietary rule, Henderson Walker is known for being the executive during a time of economic growth and overall peace. However, his efforts to have the Anglican denomination become the official church of the colony angered a few and contributed greatly, some argue, to the later Cary Rebellion.
An established public servant, William Alexander Graham’s lengthy political career included tenures as Governor of North Carolina and a U.S. Senator. He utilized both posts to push for reforms characteristic of the waning Whig Party, of which he served as a prominent member.
Widely hailed as the South’s most prominent politician during the Civil War and post-bellum periods, Zebulon Baird Vance’s decorated career as a public servant included positions in the military, the Governor of North Carolina, and a U.S. Senator.
At the onset of the 1960s, Terry Sanford was elected the 65th governor of North Carolina. A lifelong Democrat, Sanford championed improving the state’s educational system at all levels, embodied the spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, strove to fight poverty, and desired to expand the Research Triangle Park. Despite serving only one term, Sanford’s programs transformed Southern politics, specifically in education and race relations, and contributed to his legacy as a political hero in the New South.
The gubernatorial impeachment of William Woods Holden serves as the only one of its kind in North Carolina history. A brilliant journalist, editor, and lawyer, Holden’s political achievements would ultimately be masked by his shortcomings, including reform failure, an inability to stabilize the state during Reconstruction, and prompting an bloody war with the Ku Klux Klan.
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.