The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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Hertfort County, and a son, John Louis, who died years ago, unmarried.

        Henry Potter, born 1765, died 1857, was for more than half a century judge of the United States District Court for the state of North Carolina, appointed in 1801 by Mr. Jefferson. He resided in Fayetteville; he was a native of Granville County.

        Of his early education we have no information. But he was for years a trustee and an active friend of the university. Kind and courteous in his manners, upright and patient as a judge, he possessed abilities of a reputable order; but to preside as the associate of Marshal, Daniel, and Wayne, demanded no ordinary powers. In the latter days of his life he was fond of narrating the events of his youth. He had known Washington, and heard him deliver his first address to congress at Philadelphia. He knew Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Hamilton, Charles Carroll. Rufus King and other celebrities of the revolution, as well Richard Caswell, Judge Iredell, Governor Johnstone, Nash, Burke, Spaight, Ashe, Davie, and others of our own state, and such giants as Cameron, Gaston Toomer, Means, Duffy and Strange had practiced before him; all of whom preceded him to the grave. Had he written the reminiscences of his times. How agreeable would such a work have been to our age!

        He wrote a work "on the Duties of a Justice of the Peace," and with Yancey and Taylor revised our statute laws. He died December 20, 1857.

        John D. Toomer was a native of Wilmington; educated at the university but did not graduate.

        He represented this county in the senate of the state legislature in 1831 and 1832, and succeeded Judge Strange, in the house in 1836. He had been a judge of the superior courts in 1818, and was on the supreme court bench in 1829, by appointment of the governor, but was not elected by the legislature. In 1836, he was again on the superior court bench which he resigned from ill health in 1840. He was an eloquent advocate, a learned judge, a writer of great literary attainments, and an accomplished and urbane gentleman. He died in Pittsboro in 1856.

        Louis D. Henry, born 1788, died 1846, resided for years in this county. He was a native of New Jersey, educated at Princeton, where he graduated in 1809. He read law with his uncle, Edward Graham, in New Berne, and practiced with great success. He was distinguished for his courteous manners, his finished elocution, and his accurate and extensive memory. His genial temper and popular manners were duly appreciated by his fellow citizens. He represented the county 1821 and 1822, and the town in 1830-'31 and '32, and in the latter year was chosen speaker.

        In early life, when quite young, he became involved in a duel with Thomas J. Stanly, (about 1812) which terminated in the death of the latter.

        He was appointed Minister to Belguim by the President (VanBuren,) which mission he declined, but he accepted the appointment of commissioner to settle claims against Spain.

        In 1842, he made an unsuccessful campaign as candidate for governor of the state. This was his last appearance in political life, for four years after he died suddenly at his residence in Raleigh.

        Mr. Henry was no ordinary man. Gifted by nature with high mental endowments, cultivated by education, of a most agreeable presence, an exquisite taste for poetry and music, with most melodious voice, he was a welcome and favoured guest wherever he moved.

        Mr. Henry was twice married. By his last wife, who survived him, he had several children. One of whom married Duncan K. McRae, another John H. Manly, and another was the first wife of R. P. Waring, of Charlotte.

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