The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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the State seceded, and he resigned the United States Judgeship, and accepted a similar position under the new (Confederate) Government, which he held until the close of the war.

        During the troubled times of the war, he was a refugee, with his family, to Tarboro. As soon as hostilities ceased he returned to his profession, which he pursued with success, until 1869. Having been one of the signers of the protest, by the Bar against the partisan conduct of Members of our Supreme Court, in the Presidential campaign of 1868, and feeling outraged at the oppression of the Court in disbarring the signers, he removed to Norfolk and became a partner in the house of Kedar Biggs & Co.

        In 1870, he formed a law partnership with Hon. Wm. N. H. Smith, and continued in the practice with Judge Smith until the removal of the latter to Raleigh. In the Counting House, Judge Biggs evinced the same sagacity and probity, combined with labor, caution, and endurance for work, as he showed in the other walks of life, and stood as high in this new field of labor, as he had at the Bar or in the Senate Chamber. He was an active and useful Member of the Board of Trade of Norfolk, and esteemed for his enterprise and public spirit. While attending to his mercantile duties at his counting house, on March 6, 1878, he was struck with a disease of the heart, carried home and in spite of all the skill of science and the kindness of affection, he suddenly expired.

        Judge Biggs left a wife and six children, three sons, and three daughters, to mourn their loss. The eldest of his sons, Captain William Biggs, is the editor of the Oxford Lance.

        Judge Biggs was a fair sample of a North Carolina gentleman, solid rather than showy in his acquirements, retiring and modest in his opinions, but tenacious and firm when assailed. Consistent and conciliatory in his course. As a statesman he was pure and patriotic; as a lawyer he was learned, able, and successful; as an orator he did not rank or aspire,--

        "The applause of listening Senates to command,"--

        But his addresses were replete with good sense, and practical wisdom. Whatever position he occupied, he was equal to his duty--never above nor below it. As a gentleman, he was always polite, yet zealous and tenacious; he possessed "that chastity of honor," that regarded the slightest imputation upon it, as a wound. As a parent and a husband he was provident and affectionate, and as a Christian, he was a devote member of that much misrepresented, but pure and sincere denomination, the "Primitive Baptist," and in their faith he died.

        Joseph John Martin is a native and resident of Williamston, in this county. He was born November 21, 1833; educated at the Williamston Academy, and read law with Judge Pearson.

        He has served as Solicitor for the Second Judicial District, for several years. He was a delegate to the National Convention at Cincinnati, and was elected a Member of Congress to the 46th Congress, as a Republican, receiving 12,125 votes, against 12,084 for J. J. Yeates, Democrat. His seat was contested by Mr. Yeates.

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