Hoke, Montford McGehee, Charles and Samuel F. Phillips, Horatio M. Polk, Jesse G. Shepherd, and others.
He studied law, and was very laborious and useful.
In 1846, he volunteered for the Mexican war, and was appointed captain of company I., 12th regiment of United States Infantry, with John F. Hoke as first lieutenant and Junius B. Wheeler and others as privates. At the action at the National Bridge he was severely wounded. He was also in the battles of Pasa Ovejas and Cerro Gordo. For his gallantry he was promoted. This war being ended, and his command disbanded, he returned home to his professional practice.
In 1850, he was elected by the legislature of North Carolina as comptroller of the state, which, after four years service, he resigned, and was succeeded by George W. Brooks.
When the civil war began he was appointed colonel of the 24th North Carolina regiment, and did much and varied service; endured much suffering and encountered
"--Most disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field;
Of hair breadth escapes in the imminent deadly breach,
Of being taken by the insolent foe, and placed into captivity--"
for at one time, like Governor Vance, he was an inmate of the prison at Washington.
After the war was over, he returned to his profession, and was made one of the judges of superior courts of law and equity, in which posibe was succeeded by Judge A. S. Seymour.
Judge Clarke married Mary Bayard, daughter of the late Thomas Pollock Devereux, who was distinguished as a lawyer, and a successful and extensive planter on the Roanoke river; his mother was the grand-daughter of the celebrated Jonathan Edwards, distinguished as a metaphysician, the president of the Princeton College. The early education of Mrs. Clarke was liberal, for blest with ample means, every advantage that wealth could bestow was lavished upon her. Her genius early displayed itself in prose and poetry; but her productions were then mere pastime. The civil war brought adversities to all, and unusual disaster added to this, her health began to fail and she sought the mild climate of Cuba for its restoration. With renewed health she commenced her career as an authoress. Some of her poems were collected and published in a volume, "Mosses from a Rolfing Stone," "The Idle Moments of a Busy Woman," and many other gems. Her many war pieces as "The Battle of Manassas;" "Battle of the Hampton Roads," and her "Rebel Sick,", are calculated to rouse the feelings, while the simple touches of nature in her "Mothers' Dream," "My Children," and "Smiles and Roses," awaken the tender sensibilities of the heart. The "Reminiscences of Cuba," and "Of noted North Carolinians," show her skill and power as a pen painter of genius. In 1854, Mrs. Clarke published "Wood Notes;" in 1871, "Clytie and Zenobia; or, the Lily and the Palm."
William Edwards Clarke is the son of the above. He was born in Raleigh on March 7, 1850.
He was educated at Davidson College, and read law at Columbia College, New York.
He was elected in 1876 a member of the legislature by 1,500 majority. He was a tutor in the Deaf and Dumb Institution.
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