The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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with an influential family. His sympathies with his countrymen were not confined to his priestly relations, for in 1780 he accompanied the troops called into service for a Southern campaign. Soon after the Revolution efforts were made to build up more efficiently the broken-down walls of the Church, and in 1794 he was unanimously chosen, by the Convention, Bishop of the new Diocese; but he died before his consecration.

        Bishop Pettigrew left one son, Hon. Ebenezer Pettigrew, who inherited not only the estate, but the genius, energy and excellence of character of his father. He was born near Edenton March 10, 1783, and took charge of the estate, on Lake Phelps, draining and improving that noble plantation by skill, science and enterprise. For years he devoted himself entirely to agricultural pursuits, avoiding politics and public life. He was elected to the Senate of the State Legislature in 1809 and 1810, and was nominated as a candidate for the twenty-fourth Congress, (1835-37,) in opposition to Dr. Thomas H. Hall, one of the most popular and influential men of the then dominant party, Jackson--Democrat,) and was triumphantly elected. As an evidence of the regard and confidence of his neighbors, he received every vote but three in Tyrrell County.

        Such was the acceptability of his public service in Congress that he could have been re-elected without opposition, but he peremptorily refused to serve. He now devoted himself exclusively to the pursuits of agriculture. Under his example and advice the country was vastly improved. He taught his neighbors how to drain and cultivate the soil, and how to lay off their canals and ditches. His own farm, on the margin of his beautiful lake, was the subject of universal admiration. Strangers from a distance visited it to view its beauties and the magnitude of the work. His life was one of labor and usefulness, and he left behind him the impress of his energy and intellect. He certainly did more to build up the County, to improve and enrich it, than any man of his age. He married, May 17, 1815, Anne, eldest daughter of William Shepard, Esq., of New Berne. Mr. Shepard, was the father of Hon. William B. Shepard, Hon. Charles B. Shepard, and James B. Shepard, and of Mrs. John H. Bryan. He died at Magnolia, in Tyrrell County, July 8, 1848, leaving several children, among them (the third son) was--

        J. Johnston Pettigrew, who was born at Lake Scuppernong, Tyrrell County, North Carolina, on July 4th, 1828. The earlier part of his life was passed with his maternal grandmother; from his seventh to his fifteenth year he was at the school of Mr. Bingham, in Hillsboro'; in May, 1843, he entered the University of North Carolina, then under the charge of that eminent and successful preceptor, Governor D. L. Swain; his collegiate career was so brilliant as to have become a college tradition. When he graduated in 1847 the faculty, the trustees and the press were exultant, and predicted for him a future of brilliant success; the event of his graduation is an era in the history of that ancient institution. Nor were his classmates ordinary competitors, they were powerful in the generous struggle for knowledge, which Bacon says "is power." Their success in after life is evidence of their mental superiority. Among them were Alfred Alston, Duncan L. Clinch, Eli W. Hall, John Pool, Matt. W. Ransom, Charles E. Shober, and Thos. G. Skinner, and others. That the universal acknowledgment of his merits was not confined to the partiality of friendship may be inferred from the fact that Mr. Polk, then the President of the United States, himself a graduate in 1818 of the University, who was present at the commencement, and accompanied by Commodore Maury, at his suggestion, tendered to Mr. Pettigrew the position of Assistant Professor in the National Observatory, at Washington City. Crowned with the honors of his alma mater, and promoted by the appreciation of the Chief Magistrate of the Republic, with the regard of his teachers and the affection and admiration of his associates, and a large and influential connection, who were proud of his promise and powerful to sustain him in the career of ambition; with great mental gifts highly cultivated, the vista of life opened to Mr. Pettigrew bright and promising. His position at Washington was one that afforded access to the best society, as well as opportunities of distinction in the scientific world.

        The offices of the Observatory were eminently filled by Maury, Newcome, and others. But from a restless disposition, so often the companion of genius, which prefers conflict with men in the battle of life rather than the secluded pursuits of science, he remained only for a short time at the Observatory. He felt "cribbed, cabined, and confined" in the cloisters of that institution. Accordingly he entered the law office of James Mason Campbell, of Baltimore, and commenced the study of law; upon the invitation of his distinguished relative,
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