The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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to all monopolies and banks. At the close of his term he declined a re-election, hoping to spend the balance of his days in repose and retirement; but he accepted the appointment, at the special request of General Jackson, of commissioner to treat with the Chickasaw Indians on the Bluff, where Memphis now stands.

        In 1820 he was elected by the Legislature to succeed Governor John Branch; and, after this duty, he retired from the toils and excitements of public life; and in 1824 his long, eventful and useful career was terminated. He was dignified and commanding in person, clear and decided in his opinions, and displayed great sagacity and common sense in all his actions.

        Meshach Franklin, the brother of Governor Jesse Franklin, was distinguished as a statesman and politician in Surry County. He entered public life as a member of the House of Commons in 1800, and was elected a Member of the 10th Congress (1807) and served till 1815; afterward became a member of the State Senate in 1828-29. He died in December, 1841.

        Jesse Franklin Graves, one of the Judges of the Superior Court, a native of Surry County, is the grandson of Governor Franklin, whose sketch we have just given. He was born August 31, 1829. He read law under Judge Pearson, and was a member of Governor Ellis' council. He served in the Legislature in 1876-77, but has wisely preferred the quiet practice of the law to the varying fortunes of politics.



        Mention has been made of Colonel Edward Buncombe. Joseph Buncombe, the uncle of Colonel Edward Buncombe, the namesake of Buncombe County, came from the Island of St. Kitts, West Indies, (where there were several of the same name, John among the number,) and purchased from the Moseleys the farm now know as "Buncombe Hall," in that part of Tyrrell which is now Washington County, North Carolina. One of the Moseleys was Secretary of State for a long time, and as all entries of land were made in his office, he was aware of the location of all the unentered lands in the State, and was thus enabled to make large entries for himself. At what date Joseph Buncombe came over to this country cannot be gathered from the records or the memory of the oldest inhabitant. He resided for several years at Buncombe Hall, and the cellar of his house is still visible not far from the creek, in close proximity to an Indian fort, on the margin of the swamp; of him, at this day, little seems to be known. He returned to the West Indies on a visit, where he died, and devised Buncombe Hall to his nephew, Colonel Edward Buncombe.

        On the death of Joseph Buncombe, Dr. Lenox and Robert West, of Bertie, went to the West Indies for the purpose of making a speculation out of Colonel Buncombe, and offered to purchase his estate in Carolina. His wife, Eliza, advised against a sale, and remarked that the land must be valuable, or those gentleman would not have come so far to purchase, and prevailed upon him to go and see it first himself, which he did in 1765, or thereabouts. On viewing the land, he was pleased with it, and returned to St. Kitts in 1766 for the purpose of moving his family to Carolina. On his return he found a new accession to his family in the person of Eliza Taylor Buncombe. When this child was twelve months old the Colonel removed his family to Buncombe Hall--he then being twenty-four years of age. Between his first and second visits, the "old Hall," with fifty-five rooms in it, was built for him by Colonel Lee. He brought with him a chaplain, a physician, two or three ladies, friends of Mrs. Buncombe, a shepherd for his sheep, a flock of two hundred, a hind for his cattle, and upward of two hundred negroes, thinking to cultivate sugar. The maiden name of Mrs. Buncombe was Eliza Taylor. At the age of six years the little girl, Eliza Buncombe, was sent to New York to boarding school, and boarded with the family of Mr. Abram Lott, at that time Treasurer of the State, and a consignee of Colonel Buncombe, and a very wealthy man. With this family she remained for ten years. The other children, Hester and Thomas, were
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