The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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needed not a veil of charity to cover their crimes and frailties; in his own simple guilelessness he did not see their faults. Those who had known him for thirty and forty years, say that they never saw him angry. He had not an enemy among the people with whom he has lived since early manhood. We doubt whether he has one in the world, notwithstanding the many important trusts committed to him, the duties of which he discharged faithfully and fearlessly. We have seen his antagonists quail beneath his bold, yet courteous, advocacy of the truth. Yet the most remarkable thing in the career of this great man, was the hold he had upon the hearts of men of every creed and party, although in his official capacity he had often been opposed to the interests and wishes of many.

        "A brief summary of the incidents in his life, and of the positions held by him, will show how universal must have been the confidence in his integrity, and how great must have been the fascination of his amiability and philanthropy, since he was enabled to discharge all his duties conscientiously without giving offense and without making an enemy.

        "He studied law at Hillsboro, with Hon. Wm. A. Graham, and was admitted to the bar at Charlotte, in 1833. He took a high stand in his profession at the very outset and maintained it always. This was not due merely to his genius, his learning, and his eloquence, but in a large degree to his unselfish and sympathetic nature, which made him adopt his client's cause as his own and identify himself thoroughly with the interests, the views, and the feelings of the client.

        He was twice Elector for the State at large, first in the Clay campaign, and then in the contest between Seymour and Grant. He was appointed by President Fillmore, Superintendent of the United States Mint at Charlotte, which office he held for four years. He was chosen by Governor Ellis to fill a vacant Judgeship in 1859, and the General Assembly confirmed the selection November 26, 1860. His decisions as a Judge, were eminently wise, and just, and no breath of suspicion ever soiled the spotlessness of his ermine. At the time of his death he was a Senator in the General Assembly, as Mecklenburg still honored her own eminent men and was not disposed, like some other counties, to trust her interests to ignorant and incompetent persons or greedy adventurers from abroad.

        "But it is as the Christian gentleman, we love to think of our illustrious statesman. He was sincerely and unaffectedly devout; a lover of God and man. The Bible was a lamp to his feet and a light to his path. For near twenty years he was a ruling elder in the church at Charlotte. In the last trying scenes of life his faith in Christ was firm and unshaken. He could then say with the Psalmist: "My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

        "It has been a favorite theory with Christian poets and divines, that the characteristics of the saints on earth will be preserved in Heaven, ennobled, elevated and purified from all carnal taint. Jeremiah in glory will be distinguished for his pensive meditations, Isaiah for his researches into the mystery of redeeming love, John will carry his loving disposition with him, Paul will retain his zeal and his energy. The refined nations of antiquity held similar views, and hence the classic allusions to death as an eclipse, obscuring for a season, but afterward allowing the same luminary to delight and to dazzle.

        "We who were in the belt of the late total eclipse, observed a black spot projected on the lower limb of the sun. Gradually, the dark shadow crept higher and higher. The great orb sent out sickly and more sickly rays. The cattle came lowing home. The bewildered fowls of the air sought their roosts. The black spot crept higher and yet higher, until darkness covered the sky, with here and there a star sending forth a ghastly and unnatural light. Then the
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