Congress, but the district being largely Democratic, was defeated by the Hon. James C. Dobbin. As a public speaker, Mr. Haughton was clear, logical and forcible. As a lawyer he was learned, laborious and zealous, and always commanded a leading practice in the Courts he attended. Mr. Haughton was cheerful and social in his disposition, fond of anecdotes and told a story well. In all the domestic relations he was kind, affectionate, tender and true. He discharged all his duties with intelligence and fidelity to his country and State. In fact, he was a man of unusual public spirit and liberality, and by his large subscriptions to works of internal improvement greatly impaired his estate. The war between the States deprived him of his ample fortune and brought, with increasing years, much trouble and anxiety; yet he maintained his cheerfulness to the last, illustrating how a good man could bear adversity as well as prosperity with equanimity.
Dr. Edward Ransom resides at Columbia, in this (Tyrrell) County. He is a native of Virginia, born in Gloucester County on the 12th of February, 1833. He was educated at the University of Virginia and graduated at Hampden-Sidney. He was first elected to the Senate in 1873, and in 1874 was elected an Elector on the Grant ticket. In 1875 he was elected on an Independent platform from Tyrrell County to the Constitutional Convention. The position of parties and of the State was critical in the extreme. On the preliminary question of adjournment the parties were so evenly divided that upon his vote depended whether the body should organize. Dr. Ransom was elected President and turned the scale by which the State was redeemed. Dr. Ransom's course was approved by the State and by his own constituents, for he was elected to the Legislature the next year.
A biographical sketch of that eminent North Carolinian, Dr. Edward Warren, (Bey,) will be found in the article immediately following the preface, page xlix.
"Beneath the rule of men
Entirely great, the pen is greater than the sword.
Behold the arch magician's wand! In itself 'tis nothing,
But catching sorcery from a master's hand,
And aided by the gigantic power of the press,
It paralyzes the thrones of monarchs."
"Few persons have ever lived in North Carolina," says an editorial in the North Carolina University Magazine, February, 1854, "whose biography would be more interesting than that of the late Joseph Gales, born 1761, died 1841." It is deemed proper to preface the sketch now attempted by some historical memoranda of the press in our State.
Martin informs us in his History of North Carolina (vol. II, 54) that a printing press was, in 1749, imported into the Province, and set up at New Berne, by James Davis, from Virginia. This was greatly needed, for from the want of such an establishment the laws were in manuscript, scarce, defective and inaccurate.
The first book printed was "A Revisal of the Laws, by Edward Moseley and Samuel Swan," and, from its homely binding, was familiarly known as The Yellow Jacket. A copy of this edition is in the Library of Congress, presented by Hon. Samuel F. Phillips. When the Government was moved from New Berne to Wilmington, in 1764, Andrew Stuart set up a press in the latter town, and issued the first number of the North Carolina Gazette and Weekly Post-Boy. This was followed by the Cape Fear Mercury, in 1769, which was countenanced and sustained by the Committee of Safety, but discontinued at an early period of the Revolution. It was in this paper that Gov. Martin first saw, as he expressed it, "the most infamous publication of a set of people, styling themselves a Committee for the County of Mecklenburg, most traitorously declaring the entire dissolution of the laws, government and constitution of this country." A copy of this paper was forwarded in the dispatch of Gov. Martin to his Government, dated 20th of June, 1775, which paper was withdrawn for Mr. Stevenson on the 15th of August, 1837, and has since never been recovered. There was no newspaper in the State from this date until the 28th of August, 1783, when Robert Keith issued, at New Berne, the first number of the North Carolina Gazette, or Impartial Intelligencer and Weekly General Advertiser. This was followed by the North
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