The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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of all labor-saving machines, and the adoption of the best and most intelligent systems of farming. He was President of the first agricultural society organized in the county of Orange, North Carolina, and his address at its first meeting is yet a model of practical suggestion and sagacious forecast. Mr. Cameron has also been always an ardent supporter of internal improvements and though incurring losses occasionally as all pioneers in such work do, has always been a large stockholder and contractor on our rail-roads. On the building of the North Carolina Central Rail-Road he was the first man to enter on the work and the first to complete his section. Subsequently he succeeded Col. Fisher as its President, and was for years one of its Directors. A director also for the last ten years of the R. & G. and of the R. & A. Air Line Railroads He was a member of the State Senate in 1856. Wherever an important committee could procure. Mr Cameron as its chairman, the public has long felt secure that the business in hand would be done, and well done. His conservative attitude towards the old has always been accompanied by most intelligent and discrimining liberality towards the new, and this fine spirit keeps him now in advanced life, still fresh and indomitable, en rapport with all around him, accepting the new order of thing and making the best of the inevitable with unimpaired judgment and sagacity.

        Mr. Cameron has never sought office, and never has accepted it but at the call of duty and when he felt he could serve the State. The successful management of his large estates and their complicated interests, the performance of his duty to his own family, and large circle of friends, the exercise of an ample and genial and truly southern hospitality have sufficiently employed his energies. He was one of the very few southern planters whom emancipation found free from debt, so that he retained his landed property and reestablished his fortune on the new basis, with undiminished credit and success.

        His army of slaves had ever received strict humane attention. He took pride in the knowledge that all his dependants were well fed, clothed and housed, and that their condition might challenge comparison with that of any in the fifteen slave States of the Union. When freed at the close of the civil war, they parted from their master with kindly feeling, and the elder ones greet him yet, whenever they chance to meet him, with the same exhibition of attachment. He has a right to be as proud of this record as of any other of his life's work's, and he probably is, for he tells with some zest in these latter days of a family of negroes devised to him by a friend "for emancipation," whom he settled in Liberia under the care of the American Colonization Society, providing them with house and food for twelve months, and one thousand dollars in gold as an an outfit. They returned from Africa and presented themselves at his door in Orange County, begging him to take them back.

        Reviewing his life in a late letter to a friend, Mr. Cameron writes: "Best of all I have been a trustee of the University of North Carolina, steadfast and true to its every interest at all times, and anxious now to make it in the future the best ornament of the State"

        When the University was restored and reorganized after the calamities that befel it upon the death of Gov. Swain, he was made Chairman of the Committee on Repairs, and in fact did all the work. Its speedy rehabilitation, and re-occupation in 1875 were due to his energetic oversight. He has been since an active and influential and most judicious member of the Executive Committee to which is entrusted the practical conduct of the affairs of the Institution. One striking evidence of the public estimation of the value of Mr. Cameron's
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