The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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and predicted for him a bright career of honor and usefulness.

        He studied law with General William R. Davie, whose knowledge and successful practice well qualified him to prepare and fit upon his students that armor which would enable them to endure the tilts of the legal tournament. His teachings were inculcated with an elegance of manners, and a suavity of temper, that, while they instructed, gave satisfaction and pleasure. Judge Daniel, long one of the Judges of our Supreme Court, who also read law with him, pronounced General Davie one of the most able jurists and accomplished gentlemen he ever knew. Under such a teacher, Mr. Stone was well fitted for the duties of his profession; and from his solid acquirements, his signal ability, his close attention to the interests of his clients, the skillful and careful preparation of his cases, he won the confidence of the community, and attained the highest rank in his profession. When in the 26th year of his age, he was elected by the Legislature a Judge of the Superior Court of Law and Equity.

        He early embarked on the stormy sea of political life, in which, from the suavity of his manners and the solidity of his acquirements, he enjoyed a long and brilliant career. From 1790 to 1794 he was a member of the House of Commons. In 1795 he was elected one of the Judges of the Superior Court, the duties of which he discharged with dignity and ability until 1799, when he was chosen Representative in Congress. In 1801 he was elected Senator in Congress, which place he resigned in 1807, on being again elected Judge of Superior Court. Whilst a member of the Senate his distinguished colleague, Jesse Franklin, was President pro tem. of that body. It is a fact worthy of record that at this time the presiding officers of both Houses of Congress were from North Carolina, Mr. Macon having been Speaker of the Lower House during the 7th, 8th, and 9th Congresses, 1801 to 1806. In 1808 Mr. Stone was elected Governor of the State. He discharged all the duties of that elevated position with great dignity during his constitutional term. In 1811 and 1812 he again appeared as a member of the Legislature, and his experience, abilities and principles gave him commanding influence. This was a stormy period in the political history of the State. A bill to confer the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States upon the Legislature, so as to give an undivided vote (instead of the district system then in vogue,) was introduced and advocated by Governor Stone; this failing, he introduced a similar measure to choose the electors by a general ticket system, which he advocated with great ability and unequaled eloquence. This measure was opposed by Duncan Cameron, John Stanly, and others; and also miscarried. He opposed the proposition of Mr. Phifer to make a choice of electors by the district system, but this was adopted. At this session he was again elected a Senator in Congress to serve for six years, from the 4th of March, 1813.

        He possessed extraordinary and highly cultivated intellectual powers, cautious and shrewd in business transactions, fond of money, and successful in the accumulation of property.

        He was twice married, first to Miss Harriet Turner, by whom he left several children; second to Miss Dashield, of Washington City.

        (For Genealogy of the Stone family of Bertie County, North Carolina, see Appendix.)

        General Stone entered the Senate again at a period of intense national excitement. The United States were at war with the most powerful nation on earth, and party spirit raged with unwonted violence. The majority of the people of North Carolina supported Madison and the war, and the Legislature elected Governor Stone to sustain that policy; but, unfortunately, he differed from the Legislature and
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