The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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        Governor Johnston was mentally and physically "every inch a man." His intellect was of the highest order, cultivated by learning and experience. His person was imposing, of a large and powerful frame, erect and stately in his carriage, and of iron will. He joined the graces of the scholar with the wisdom of the statesman.*

        * University Magazine, VIII., 1.

        He was a devoted advocate of masonry, and was in 1788, grand master of the order in the state.*

        * "In the lodge room at Edenton," says Mr. Banks in the Observer, there is a remarkable chair of heavy mahogany, carved with all the emblems of masonry, with the words, "virtute et silento." This chair is the one which General Washington occupied at Williamsburg. Va., and was deposited here during the revolutionary war for safety. It is a venerable relic, and possesses the reverence and regard of all masons."

        He married Frances Cathcart, and had issue, among them James C. Johnston, who lived near Edenton, and died during the war between the states, about 1864, one of the wealthiest men of the state. He was so decidedly opposed to secession that he disinherited all his relatives, because they identified themselves with this war, and left his property, amounting to many millions, to his personal friends. At the outbreak of the war he freed his slaves. He was a great admirer of Henry Clay, whose debts, to a large amount, Mr. Johnston discharged without Mr. Clay's knowledge; nor was Mr. Clay ever able to ascertain who was his benefactor. His will was contested by his legal heirs, on the ground of his being non compos mentis.

        About this time John Johnston, who had, in 1787, 1788, 1789, represented Bertie County in the senate, became a citizen of Hertford County. He had married Betsey Cotten, daughter of Godwin Cotten, of Mulberry Grove, and resided near there. He was of the same name and nephew of Governor Johnston, of Chowan.

        He was a man of high culture, but died too young to attain the traditional prominence and usefulness of his family.

        He left two children, Reverend Samuel J. Johnston, D.D., for years rector of St. Paul's, Edenton, and Sallie Anne, who married James D. Wynns. Esther Cotten, the only other child of Godwin Cotten, married in 1804 James Wright Moore, of Virginia. He was the son of Captain William Edward Moore, and was noted for his manly and noble presence, and his devotion to field sports. He, too, died early, leaving one son, Dr. Godwin C. Moore, and two daughters, Emeline, who married first, Dr. N. W. Fletcher, of Virginia; her second husband was Mr. LeVert, of Alabama, and Sarah Matilda, married to Turner P. Westray, of Nash, since dead.

        The genealogy of the Johnston family:

        John Johnston, brother to Gabriel Johnston, Governor North Carolina 1734, married Helen Scrymsour, and had seven children. I. Samuel. II. John, married Miss Williams and had the following children: (a) John, married Cotton, of Hertford County; (b) Samuel Iredell, university class 1826, rector of St. Paul's, Edenton; (c) Sally Ann, married to J. D. Wynns; (d) Elizabeth, married to Philip Alston had six children, and (e) Anne, married to Hunter, no issue.

        III. Penelope, married to Parson Stuart, no issue. IV. Jane, married to George Blair, and had (a) Helen, married to Tredwell, had four children; (b) William; (c) Margaret, married first to Dr. Hormer, and second to Mr. Sawyer, and had seven children; (d) Samuel, and (e) George, married Miss King, member of legislature in 1829.

        V. Anne died unmarried. VI. Isabella died unmarried. VII. Hannah, married to James Iredell, (Judge of the Supreme Court of the United States, born 1750, died 1799,) and had four children: (a) Thomas; (b) Annie; (c) Helen, and (d) James, born 1788, Governor of North Carolina 1827, United States Senator 1828, died 1853, leaving issue.

        It is stated that this family is a branch of
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