The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

Bookmark and Share

        Robert Strange, born 1796, died February 19th, 1854, who lived and died in Fayetteville, was a native of Virginia. He was educated at Hampden Sydney, studied law and settled at Fayetteville, from which town he was elected a representative to the legislature 1821; re-elected, with two intermissions, until 1836, when he was elected one of the judges of the superior courts, in which position he was so acceptable that in 1836, he was elected United States senator. Here he shone conspicuous for the suavity of his manners, his affable demeanor, and his brilliant abilities. Under instructions from the legislature, elected in the phrensy of the "Log Cabin" campaign of 1840, he resigned, glad to escape from "the peltings of the storm" of political life to the more germane and profitable pursuits of the law, which he practiced with great success until his death. He was twice married. His second wife, Mrs. Nelson, survived him but a short time.

        James Cochrane Dobbin, born 1814, died August 4, 1857, was born, lived, and died in Fayetteville. He was the son of John M. Dobbin, and Abness, daughter of James Cochrane, after whom he was named, and who represented the Orange district in the Twelfth Congress, 1811 and 1813. His father a successful merchant in Fayetteville for thirty years, died in 1837 universally loved and lamented.

        Mr. Dobbin was prepared for college by William J. Bingham, of Hillsboro; in 1828 he entered the freshman class. His course in college was marked by a faithful discharge of every duty. Though much the youngest member of the class, during the whole collegiate course, he was among the first, and graduated with high honors in 1832, and this was no idle and empty compliment, when it is stated that such minds as Thomas S. Ashe, (now one of the judges of the supreme court,) Thomas L. Clingman, late United States senator; John H. Haughton, distinguised as a statesman and advocate; Cadwallader Jones, late attorney-general of the state; Richard H. Smith, and others, composed the class.

        His gentle and genial manners, and frank and gentlemanly deportment made him a universal favorite with the faculty and students, and so won upon the affections of the venerable president, Dr. Caldwell, that he was often heard to say: "it would gladden his heart to be the father of such a son as James C. Dobbin."

        He read law with Judge Strange, then one of the judges of the superior courts, with whom he was a special favorite.

        He was admitted to the bar in 1835, and devoted all of his energies to the profession. In it he was eminiently successful; this, too, at a bar adorned by Toomer, Eccles, Henry, and others.

        He was often solicited to represent his county, but he invariably declined, alledging that he felt more satisfaction in the discharge of his professional duties, and in the quiet comforts of his family, than in the contests of political warfare.

        But such talents and merit could not remain unappreciated. In 1845, unsolicited and unexpectedly to him, he was nominated for congress by a convention in the Raleigh district. The district was a doubtful one, and had previously only been carried by a small majority for the democratic ticket.

        The opposition was able and active, and his competitor, John H. Haughton, a practiced and successful politician. Yet such was the gallant and genial bearing of Mr. Dobbin and his captivating and winning eloquence, that he was elected by a majority of two thousand votes. His fame preceded him to congress, and he was placed on the committee of elections, a most important and trying position for a young and inexperienced member. But here he so bore himself as to win the approbation of his associates, by a close attention to his
Page 149 of 471
Index - Contents
Featured Books & CD-ROMS