The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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eldest son, Joseph Gales, jr., at Washington, was joined by W. W. Seaton, who had married his sister. Col. Seaton had edited a paper at Raleigh, and the names of Gales and Seaton were transferred from the head of the Register to the National Intelligencer, the Register returning to its original status, with Joseph Gales, sr., as editor, continued the assurance so familiar to newspaper readers of the last generation: 'Ours are the plans of fair delightful peace, unwarp't by party rage, to live like brothers.' " Raleigh thus gave to Washington city a brace of editors, trained in the office of the Raleigh Register, who published, for nearly a half a century, a paper that, for ability, fairness, courtesy, dignity, purity and elegance of style, was pronounced by a competent judge to compare favorably with the London Times, and certainly second to no gazette in this country."

        Joseph Gales, sr., came to Washington, and in his declining years found congenial occupation for his generous nature in managing the affairs of the African Colonization Society; and surrounded by respect, friendship and affection, were the last days of Joseph Gales on earth spent. He died in 1841. His venerable wife, whose genius had aided his labors, and whose intelligence had brightened his checkered life, had already preceded him by two years to that--

                         "Bourne from whence no traveler returns."

        The Register passed into the hands of his third son, Weston Raleigh Gales, who edited it until his death, July, 1848, and was succeeded by his son, Seaton Gales, born 1828, died 1878, whose premature death all who knew him so deeply regret. We trust a short sketch of him will not be unacceptable to our readers. He was born in the city of Raleigh, May 17, 1828, and graduated at the University in June, 1848. On the death of his father, in the following month, he took charge of the Register, and, although only twenty years of age, conducted it with ability and dignity.

        On the commencement of the war he entered the army, and served four years as Adjutant-General of a brigade in Northern Virginia, and did a soldier's duty in nearly all the battles fought by that army. After the war he continued his editorial duties, and was associated from 1866 to 1869 with Rev. William E. Pell in the management of the Raleigh Sentinel, which under their joint efforts acquired great popularity and influence. He was nominated in 1875 as a candidate for the Convention to amend the Constitution. His canvass was able, eloquent and active; but his party was defeated. As an orator he was fluent, ready, and eloquent; and as a lecturer, instructive, pleasing, and learned. His addresses on Odd-Fellowship, in behalf of the Oxford Orphan Asylum, and at Charlotte on the Centennial celebration, were very appropriate and exceedingly graceful. He was appointed Superintendent of the Document Room of the House of Representatives at the opening of the Forty-fifth Congress, which position he held at the time of his sudden and unexpected death, on December 2, 1878. He left a wife and children to mourn their irreparable loss.

        Henry Seawell, born 1772, died 1835, lived and died in Raleigh. He was a native of Franklin County; a man of strong native intellect, but of little education. He often represented Wake County in the Legislature; from 1790-1800, 1801-2, 1810-12 in the Commons; and 1821-26, 1831-32 in the Senate. In 1810 he was appointed by the Governor one of the Judges of the Superior Courts, but the Legislature did not ratify the appointment. In 1813 he was elected Judge, which he resigned in 1819. In 1832 he was again elected Judge, which he held until his death, 11th October, 1835. About 1820 he was appointed by the President one of the Commissioners under the Treaty with Ghent. He married the daughter of Colonel John Hinton, and left a large family.

        A few men of the State were better known and more highly appreciated as an advocate, judge, statesman, and financier than Duncan Cameron, born 1777, died 1853. He was a native of Mecklenburg County, Virginia. Bishop Meade in his work, "Old Churches, Ministers, and Families in Virginia," says:

        "This family was ancient and highly respectable. There were four brothers (two of them ministers) who came to America from Scotland. Rev. John Cameron, one of these, succeeded Mr. Craig. He was educated at the King's College, at Aberdeen. His first charge in America was St. James' Church, in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. In 1784 he went to Petersburg, and after spending some years there he went to Nottaway Parish. He taught school, and was made Doctor of Divinity by the College of William and Mary. As a teacher he was thorough and methodical, stern and authoritative, but he made good scholars. He continued Rector of Cumberland Parish until his death in 1815. His successor was the Rev. Jno. Micklejohn, whose name often occurs in North Carolina history, but not as a regular minister."

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