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Turner, James (1766-1824)

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.

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Alexander, Nathaniel (1756-1808)

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.

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Williams, Benjamin (1751-1814)

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.

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Ashe, Samuel (1725-1813)

The Judge presiding over the landmark case Bayard v. Singleton (1785), Ashe served three one-year terms as Governor and was an ardent Federalist at the beginning of his term.  He soon supported state’s rights and Jeffersonian ideals.

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Sanford, Terry (1917 -1998)

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.  

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Stokes, Montfort (1762 - 1842)

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). 

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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.