The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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        By his first marriage Mr. Strange had three sons; Thomas Wright, Rev. Robert, and Joseph Huske, a merchant in New York City. His second wife was Bettie Andrews, a sister of Col. A. B. Andrews, and a grand-daughter of John D. Hawkins, Esq., of Warren County. To them were born two daughters, the older of whom was named for his first wife, Caroline Wright, and the second was named Jane Hawkins.



        Among the revolutionary worthies distinguished for virtue and patriotism who lived in this County was General Allen Jones, whose services we have recorded with those of his distinguished brother, Willie Jones. See p. 196.

        Matt. Whitaker Ransom was born in Warren County, North Carolina, October 8, 1826. His father Robert Ransom, was a man of superior intelligence, the son of Seymour Ransom, who was a half-brother of Nathaniel Macon On the maternal side Senator Ransom is descended through his mother Priscilla Whitaker, from the distinguished family of that name in Halifax County. He was from his boyhood ambitious of acquiring knowledge and distinction; and having passed through the preparatory course of studies at home and at the Warrenton Academy, he was sent to the University of the State, where he graduated in 1847 in a class which embraced a number of young men who afterwards achieved reputation in the world. Among these was the late General James Johnston Pettigrew, with whom he divided the first honors. Mr. Ransom made the study of Law a part of his collegiate course, under the instruction of the late Judge Battle, and was thus prepared while still in his twenty-first year, to take his place at the Bar upon leaving the University. His father was an earnest Whig, and young Ransom was thus a Whig by inheritance, in the midst of a County which was Democratic in the proportion of nearly ten to one. These circumstances, however, had no tendency to keep down the ambitious aspirant to popular favor. His numerous and influential family connections were nearly all Democrats and faithful friends; so that with superior talents and attainments far beyond his years, with the aid of a fine person, captivating manners and an eloquent tongue, he at once took high rank at the Bar. Politically he was in a hopeless minority in the County of Warren; but his brilliant debut at the Bar attracted the attention of the Whigs in other parts of the State, and in 1852 his name was placed on the Whig electoral ticket. In December of that year, when only twenty-six years of age, he, a Whig, was elected Attorney-General of the State by a Democratic Legislature, in competition with the Hon. William Eaton, a Democrat and lawyer of high standing and character, against whom there was not and could not have been a serious ground of complaint. General Ransom attributes these early successes to the judicious counsels of his father; but they attest at the same time his own superior talents, his address, and knowledge of men, for which his later life has been distinguished.

        In 1855 General Ransom resigned the office
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