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.
During the late 1800s and early 1900s, much like Governor Charles Aycock, Governor William W. Kitchin was part of a new wave of Democratic leadership in North Carolina—a group that earned a reputation for being progressive in regards to government regulation while promoting white supremacy.
Charles B. Aycock served as Governor of North Carolina (1901-1905), when a “strange amalgam of views toward race and reform,” writes historian Milton Ready, “came together in the move by Democrats to do away with the black vote without violating the Fifteenth Amendment or eliminating a vast number of white illiterate voters through the suffrage amendment.”
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.
Robert Brodnax Glenn was the governor of North Carolina from 1905-1909 and was known as the “prohibition governor."
R. Gregg Cherry hails from Gastonia, North Carolina and served as governor of the Tar Heel State from 1945-1949.