The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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died, leaving a family of small children, he was again married in 1864, to Mary J. Little of Anson County, a daughter of his cousin, Thomas S. Little.

        In 1868, he "took the stump," in opposition to "the Reconstruction Acts," deeming them a flagrant violation of the Constitution. In 1872 he was on the Greeley electoral ticket, for the 6th District, canvassing it in company with Judge Thos. S. Ashe, who was then the Democratic candidate for Congress.

        In 1852, while a member of the Senate, he was elected by the Legislature one of the Trustees of the University, and continued as such until a change in the Constitution, by Act of Congress, when he was displaced by Gov. Holden. The Constitution having been amended, he was again elected in 1872, and took an active part in resuscitating the Institution, and is now a member of the Board.

        In 1876 he was elected a member of the House of Representatives of the U. S. for the term beginning March 4th, 1877, and re-elected in 1879, without opposition. In 1878, he delivered the address before the Alumni Association of the University, at the annual Commencement. During this Congress he was a member of the committees on Agriculture and Revolutionary Pensions and on Railway and Canals. His course was quiet and modest, seldom participating in debates. He made two somewhat elaborate speeches, one on "silver currency" and the other upon "taxation." He is a free-trader, so far as it is practicable, believing that "Peter ought not to be robbed for Paul's benefit." He is a strict constructionist, and believes that, "that is the best Government which governs the least." He regards the Constitution as the only bond of union, thinks it the Supreme Law, as are all acts passed in pursuance of it. He regards the Government as one of limited powers and all those powers are enumerated in the Constitution and "expression unius, est exclusio alterius." Even when a State is inhibited the use of a power, the United States do not have it, unless it is granted.

        Alfred Moore Scales was born November 26, 1827, at Ingleside, the old homestead, in this county. He is the son of Dr. Robert H. Scales, who married Jane W. Bethell. His grandfather, Nathaniel Scales, was for several years a member of the Legislature, his wife was named Annie Allen. The maternal grandfather was General William Bethell, also a member of the Legislature, his wife was named Mary Watt. Beyond this little is known of his ancestors. There is a tradition in the family handed down from father to son which says that the first Scales who came to this country was quite a youth, not more than twelve years of age; that he come from England, and not until after the ship had lost sight of land was he found in the cabin. The captain of the vessel was much enraged and threatened to throw him overboard. The little fellow was not intimidated, but entreated the captain not to molest him and that upon his arrival in America he might sell him to pay his passage money, and he would stand by the contract. To this the captain agreed, and so on their arrival in America he was sold. His master proved to be an unfeeling, hard-hearted man, who fed him badly, clothed him slightly, and worked him hard. But the lad was active, industrious and faithful. He attracted the attention of a humane man in the neighborhood, who saw the sufferings of the youth, and kindly furnished him with warm clothing, for which young Scales paid him when he became of age, as he had promised. He fulfilled his contract to serve until he became twenty-one, and the first money he made for himself was used to pay for the clothing so kindly furnished by the neighbor. From this boy the Scales family in Rockingham had its origin, such an ancestor is certainly more creditable than the
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