The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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four in the affirmitive and twenty-four in the negative. The speaker votes in the affirmative; the bill has passed the senate."

        The plaudits were deafening, and the session of the senate broken up, without adjourning; tumultuous joy came from one side, and sullen murmurs from the other. Whatever views may now be entertained of the policy of this law, it was at the time an act of political suicide by Mr. Graves; he never again appeared in the legislature. Like Coriolanus, when yielding to the entreaties of his mother, he might say:

                         "Mother, you may have saved your country, but you have lost your son."

        Mr. Graves married Elizabeth, daughter of John C. Lea, by whom he had an interesting family. He died some few years ago.

        Bedford Brown was a native of Caswell, where he lived and died; he was born in 1795, a farmer by profession, a patriotic statesman, and an unflinching advocate of the rights of the state.

        He early embarked on the sea of politics, in which he had a long and successful voyage. He entered the House of Commons in 1815. At one time (1817,) this county sent Bartlett Yancey to the senate, and Romulus M. Saunders and Bedford Brown to the commons. This was a triumvirate of ability not excelled in the legislators of any other county in the state. Mr. Brown entered public life at an important epoch in our history. The democratic principles he adopted then and there, he maintained through life. He was elected frequently to the legislature, and in 1828 and 1829 was chosen speaker of the senate. In the latter year he was elected United States Senator to succeed Governor Branch, who was appointed Secretary of the Navy. Here he served till 1840, when he resigned under instructions from the legislature.

        He again entered the legislature in 1842, and was again a candidate for the senate, but not elected. He then withdrew for a time from public life, and moved to Missouri; but after a short time he returned to North Carolina, and was again elected a member of the state senate from 1858 to 1862, and in 1868. He died at home December 6th, 1870, lamented by the state and nation.

        His character as a statesman was like Bayard's, "without fear or reproach." He was distinguished for his firmness and unquestioned integrity. His friends did not claim for him an equal rank in the intellectual power which marked the career of many with whom he was associated, but he was the peer of any in integrity, patriotism and purity of life.

        Jacob Thompson is a native of Caswell County; born May 15, 1810. His father, Nicholas Thompson, was a respectable and worthy man, who bestowed on his son every advantage of education. His early studies were conducted by Mr. Bingham at Hillsboro, and finished at the university, where he graduated in 1831, in a class with Thomas L. Clingman, James C. Dobbin, and others; and he was for a time a tutor in the college. He studied law with Honorable John M. Dick, and was licensed in 1834.

        The next year he moved to Pontotoc, Mississippi, and entered at once upon the practice of the law.

        He was elected a member of congress from Mississippi in 1839, and continued by successive elections in that position until 1851, when he declined a re-nomination. During this period he passed though many scenes of extraordinary interest and excitement. Questions of importance were agitated, in which Mr. Thompson bore a distinguished part in defending the honor of the country and the interests of his constituents. The sub-treasury, the New Jersey case, the Mexican war, Mississippi repudiations, and other questions agitated the nation.

        He bore himself as a statesman and a patriot.

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