Gabriel Holmes, born 1769,
died 1829, was a man distinguished in the service of the State, a native of this
County. He resided at Clinton. His classical education was conducted by Rev. Dr.
McCorkle, of Iredell County, and finished at Harvard University, he then read
law with Chief-Justice Taylor, at Raleigh. He was a gentleman of polished
manners, of a kindly disposition and of great popularity with the people. At an
early period of his age (1793) he was elected a member of the Legislature and
In 1821 he was elected by the Legislature Governor of the State; and in 1825 he was elected a member of the 19th and re-elected to the 20th Congress (1827-'29). He died September 26, 1829, and his grave-stone in the Congressional Cemetery, at Washington, marks this event.
General Theophilus Hunter Holmes was born in Sampson County in 1804, and was the son of Governor Gabriel Holmes, and was a grandson of Theophilus Hunter, of Wake. He married Miss Laura Wetmore, a niece of Hon. Geo. E. Badger, and sister of Mrs. P. A. Wiley, Mrs. Samuel J. Hinsdale, Rev. Dr. Geo. B. and Wm. R. Wetmore. He was a brother of Lucius Holmes, an eminent lawyer of Sampson County. He leaves a daughter and three sons. He graduated at West Point in the same class with Jefferson Davis and served with distinction in the Seminole war in Florida, and the Mexican war, in which he was breveted for gallantry. He was for some time Commander of Governor's Island in New York. Heresigned early in 1861, and tendered his services to his native State, was appointed Brigadier-General by President Davis and rose to the rank of Major-General and Lieutenant-General in the Confederate army. He served two years in the trans-Mississippi department, where he directed the movement of forty thousand soldiers. He was one of the few men in the Confederacy who declined promotion. While in Little Rock, Arkansas, without any solicitation, President Davis tendered him a commission as Lieutenant-General. He declined the promotion, and it was not until President Davis again pressed it on him that he accepted. He died in June 1880, after a lingering illness at his home in Cumberland County.
William Rufus King, born April 7, 1786, died April 17, 1853; an illustrious statesman, was a native of this County. His ancestors were from the north of Ireland, and among the earliest settlers on the James River in Virginia. His father, William King, was an intelligent and successful planter and a popular and useful citizen. He was a member of the State Convention of Virginia, which adopted the Federal Constitution; removed to North Carolina and became a member of the Legislature from Sampson County. His mother was of Huguenot descent. Mr. King was sent to the University of North Carolina when only twelve
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