The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

Bookmark and Share

        He married Elizabeth Maultsby. On account of ill health, he removed to Chatham County, where he died in 1824, much respected for his high moral courage, and his inflexible integrity. Having had but a limited education himself, he felt its importance and advantages, and he devoted all the energies of an industrious and frugal life to the bestowal of its benefits on his sons. He lived to accomplish this cherished object of his life, and with his pious and exemplary wife, a woman of great mental endowments, to rejoice in the happy result of their joint efforts and prayers, the eminent success in life of their three distinguished sons, Charles Manly, Basil Manly, (who graduated at the South Carolina university, with the first honors of the institution, born 1798 died at Greenville, South Carolina, 1868,) and Matthias Evans Manly, of New Berne, late judge of the superior and of the supreme courts in this state, also elected senator in congress, but denied his seat.

        Charles Manly, the eldest son, was born in the County of Chatham, on May 13th, 1795. He was prepared for college by that excellent classical scholar, the late William Bingham, at the Pittsboro academy, and graduated at the university in 1814, with the first distinction in all his classes. In this class was Aaron V. Brown, of Tennessee, (member of congress, 1839 to 1843; Governor of Tennessee, 1844, and Postmaster-General of the United States, 1857;) Hons. James Graham, and John Hill, both in after life members of congress, and others.*

        * For much of this material, I am indebted to a biographical sketch by James M. Cleaveland.

        The treasurer of the state, the late John Haywood, attended this commencement, and was so attracted by the talents and proficiency of this young man, that he engaged him as a private tutor for his sons. This position was highly advantageous. For besides the advantages of enjoying the regard and society of Mr. Haywood, one of the most popular men at that time in the state, and an association with prominent and leading men, he was enabled to prosecute the study of the law without entrenching upon the narrow income of his father. He was admitted to the bar in 1816, and commenced the practice of law with great success.

        On the death of General Robert Williams, in whose office he read law, he was appointed his successor as treasurer of the board of trustees of the university, and in that capacity, for a series of years, rendered faithful and signal service to that venerable institution.

        In 1823, he was appointed, on the motion of John Stanley, the reading clerk of the House of Commons. The same year, (1823,) he was appointed clerk to the commission under the treaty of Ghent, to examine the claims of American citizens for slaves and other property taken by the British, during the war of 1812. Langdon Cheves, of South Carolina, and Henry Seawell, of North Carolina, were the American commissioners; George Jackson and John McTavish were the British commissioners. The board sat at Washington. This was a position most desirable and improving to a young man, affording a pass-port to the best society at the capital. But its duties interfered so much with his professional pursuits at home, that he soon resigned.

        The Alumni association of the university resolved to have an annual address at each commencement, and Mr. Manly delivered the first in 1838, which was most acceptable, and was considered a model of chaste and popular elocution.

        In 1830, he succeeded that fine specimen of "the old school gentlemen," Pleasant Henderson, as principal clerk of the House of Commons, and remained, by continuous elections in the same office, with one intermission, until 1848, when he was elected governor of the state. He had never been ambitious in political
Page 113 of 471
Index - Contents
Featured Books & CD-ROMS