The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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it was such a conclusion as satisfied the investigating mind in its search of truth; and did honor to the teacher who planned and led the young mind along the channel of patient thought and thorough investigation. Although it was not my fortune, said Joseph McKoy, to have availed myself of his admirable training, yet as often as I met in argument those mental athletes, trained by his master hand, I have regretted that fate which denied to me similar advantages."

        For many years Judge Pearson held at his home, at Richmond Hill, a law-school, where hundreds of young men have been trained, who now adorn the profession.

        Illustrious as is his fame as a Judge, yet it is due to the integrity of history to say, that his course, to the minds of many, in the exciting and troubled scenes of 1871, shows more of the partizan than the patriot, and it was not passed unnoticed by the representatives of the people. His course in virtually denying the great writ of right, the habeas corpus, in the cases of Moore and Kerr, was the subject of much complaint, and tarnished the judicial ermine, that should always be worn pure, unstained and without reproach.*

        * See pages 110 and 367 as to opinion of Judge Pearson, in the Kerr case.

        Charles Fisher, (born 1789, and died 1849,) was born in Rowan County. His father removed from Shenandoah County, Virginia, before the Revolution, and served as a Captain in that war. He was educated by Rev. Dr. John Robinson, of Poplar Tent, Cabarrus County, and by the Rev. Dr. McPheeters, of Raleigh; then read law, but never practiced.

        He entered public life as a Senator, in the Legislature of 1818. The next year he was elected over Dr. W. Jones, a member of the 15th Congress, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Hon. Geo. Mumford, and was re-elected to the next, 16th, (1819-'21) Congress over Hon. John Long, when he declined a re-election. He was succeeded by Henry W. Conner. He determined to apply himself to his private business and the care of his young and increasing family, but the people elected him in 1822, to the House of Commons, and with few interruptions, he was re-elected till 1836; in 1831 he was chosen Speaker. He was a member of the Convention of 1835, to amend the Constitution of the State. This, as has been often before observed, was the ablest body ever assembled in the State, and amid the galaxy of talent there displayed, Mr. Fisher shone conspicuous. "Primus inter pares." His efforts on religious toleration, freedom of suffrage, popular rights, and other subjects were much approved and marked him as an astute statesman. He was one of the committee who drafted the Constitution, and was one of the most useful and active members of the Convention. In 1839, he was again brought forward as a candidate for Congress; his party was in a hopeless minority, the opposition was active and the candidate Dr. Pleasant Henderson was exceedingly popular. Mr. Fisher was elected by 183 votes. After serving this Congress, (the 26th,) he declined being a candidate.

        In 1845, while absent from the State, he was nominated again for Congress. At first he refused to be a candidate on account of his private affairs, as the district was then represented by a popular man (Hon. D. M. Barringer,) and the Whig party predominated. Mr. Fisher against his wishes and interests, was nevertheless persuaded to be a candidate. He entered into this canvass, as he did everything else, with determination, zeal and activity. Mr. B. was elected by 27 votes. This was the only election in which Mr. Fisher was ever defeated before the people.

        He was the choice of his party in 1846, as Governor of the State, but by a letter to the
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