The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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horse lived for several years, a pensioner roaming at pleasure on the banks of Cross Creek--known and beloved by all who venerated the valor and chivalry of Denny Porterfield.

        John Rutherford, or Rutherfurd, resided in Bladen County.

        He married Penelope Eden, the widow of Governor Gabriel Johnston, and lived on the place in Bladen, where the Governor had built a house. (Moore, I, 147.)

        He was one of the Council of Governor Martin, and should not be confounded with the name of General Griffith Rutherford, who did great military service in the Revolution.

        John Owen, (born 1787; died 1841,) was the grandson of Major Porterfield, above alluded to, and the son of Thomas Owen, who died in 1803, and was a brave officer of the Revolution, and commanded a regiment at Camden.

        To many of our State, he was well known, and by all he was highly appreciated for his amiable character, his generous disposition, and pure and upright demeanor. It was not his taste, or his fortune, to command in the field of war, or even

        The applause of listening Senates to command.

        He preferred rather to enjoy the quiet comforts of home and his family, and the kindly intercourse of neighbors and friends.

        Such was his popularity that he was often elected by the people of Bladen a member of the Legislature, (1812-'27, and in 1828;) during the last year he was chosen Governor. He was within one vote of being elected Senator in Congress in 1831.

        He was President of the Convention at Harrisburg, in 1840, that nominated General Harrison for President. He was offered the nomination as Vice-President; he declined, and Mr. Tyler was nominated. Had his modesty allowed his acceptance, as was the course of events, he would have been President of the United States. But his health was very precarious, and would not allow him to accept any position. He died October, 1841, at Pittsboro.

        He married, at an early age, the daughter of General Thomas Brown, the hero of the battle of Elizabethtown, leaving an only daughter, who married Haywood Guion, deceased, and who now resides at Charlotte.

        Governor Owen was a true type of a North Carolinian. Sincere, but chary in his professions and promises; and faithful and exact in his performances; varied and deep in his acquirements, but modest, reticent and unobtrusive in his demeanor; firm and gallant in maintaining his convictions of right. His name is worthy to be classed with Bayard of France: "Sans peur, sans reproche."

        His brother, General James Owen, was well known for his urbane and intellectual character. He was elected a member of the 15th Congress (1817,) and President of the North Carolina and Raleigh Railroad.

        His sister married Elisha Stedman, of Fayetteville.

        James J. McKay, (born 1793; died 1853,) of this county, was distinguished as a lawyer and statesman. He was often a member of the Legislature in the Senate (1815, '16, '17, '18, '22 and '26;) district attorney of the United States, and a member of Congress from 1831 to 1849, serving at one time with great acceptability as Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means. In the National Convention of 1848 General McKay received the undivided vote of North Carolina as a candidate for Vice-President. As a statesman he was of unquestioned ability, of stern integrity, capable of great labor and patient investigation. He was in public, as in private life, a radical economist, and belonged to that school of which Mr. Macon was the father, and he, with George W. Jones, Cave Johnson, of Tennessee, and John Letcher, of Virginia, were faithful disciples.
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