The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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improvements of the State, in supporting the Central and other rail roads in the country; and his support of the bill which he offered for the erection of an Asylum for the Insane (on the memorial of that "White Winged Messenger of Mercy," Miss Dix,) will perpetuate his philanthropy "to the last syllable of recorded time" So highly were his services appreciated that at this session (1848) he was elected one of the Judges of the Superior Courts of the State.

        Among the youngest men (being only 28,) ever elected in the State, to so high a position. His career as Judge received the approbation of the bar and the press, and the country justified the wisdom of this selection.

        As a Judge he was quick to perceive, prompt to decide and firm to act. Patient and polite, genial in private intercourse and easy of access without hauteur or levity, he bore his high honors to the satisfaction of the whole people of the State, and was so universally esteemed that in 1858, he was elected the Governor of the State, by the people by more than 16,000 votes over the eloquent and gifted, McRae.

        He was re-elected Governor, by a large majority over Hon. John Pool. His administration fell upon troubled times. The civil war was inaugurated, and he, as Governor, was called upon by the President to furnish troops to carry it on. This he promptly refused.

        On 15th of April, 1861, the President issued his proclamation for seventy five thousand men "in order to suppress combinations opposed to the government and to cause the law to be duly executed, to suppress wrongs already committed to repossess the forts, places and property which have been seized from the Union; orders more particularly to be sent through the War Dept."

        To this Governor Ellis, replied on the same date: "Your despatch is received and if genuine, which its extraordinary character leads me to doubt, I have to say in reply that I regard the levy of troops made by the administration a usurpation of power. I can be no party to this wicked violation of the laws of the country, and to this war upon the liberties of a free people. You can get no troops from North Carolina.

        "I will reply more in detail when your call is received by mail."

        The health of Governor Ellis, never robust, under the pressure of these fearful events so rapidly accumulating, completely gave way, and he died July 1861, at the White Sulphur Springs, amid the regret of his friends and to the great loss of the State.

        Gov. Ellis had been twice married, first to a daughter of Col. Philo White, in 1843; and second to Miss Daves of New Berne.

        Nathaniel Boyden (born 1795, died 1873,) was long a resident and a representative of Rowan. He was a native of Massachusetts, educated at the Williams College and graduated in 1821, and at Union College, Schenectady, New York. He came the next year to North Carolina, and took up his abode in Guilford County. He had studied law before he came south, and obtained his license in this State to practice in 1823 and removed to Stokes County near Germantown where he resided till 1832, teaching school, when he removed to Surry County, which he represented in 1838 and 1840. In 1842 he removed to Salisbury where he resided until his death. He represented Rowan in the Senate 1844, and in 1847 was elected a member of the 30th Congress. In 1865 he was a member of the State Convention. In 1868 he was elected to the 40th Congress, and in 1871 one of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the State, this elevated position he held until his death, which occurred at Salisbury on Nov. 5th, 1873.

        Judge Boyden was possessed of a strong and well balanced mind, highly cultivated and of an extraordinary memory. His professional career
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