The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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of unaffected modesty, humane and benevolent. He was prompt and punctual in the payment of his debts. In person he was considerably above the middle size, agreeable features, florid complexion and a face indicative of amiability and candor. He died a communicant of the Episcopal Church, the sacrament of which was administered to him in his own chamber shortly before his death by Rev. Joseph H. Saunders, then rector of Emanuel Church at Warrenton. He married Mary Weldon, who died August, 1852, leaving eight children. Among these was Edward, who was born 1795. He was an educated gentleman; graduated at the University of North Carolina in same class of 1815 with F. L. Hawks, Willie P. Mangum, and R. D. Spaight. He studied law and became so devoted to his profession that in 1841 he was appointed judge of the Superior Courts. Very few of his opinions were overruled, and he was considered one of the most learned judges of the State. For many years preceding his death he retired from all business. He was a gentleman of great purity of character and integrity. He died in November, 1877, in the eighty-second year of his age, unmarried.

        Blake Baker resided and represented Warren County in the House of Commons in 1807. He had previously been the Attorney-General of the State (1794 to 1803) and in 1808 was appointed one of the judges of the Superior Courts by the Governor; not being elected by the Legislature his commission expired in the same year. He died in 1818. He married Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of Christopher Clark, of Bertie County, the aunt of Governor Henry T. Clark, but had no issue.

        William Miller represented this County in 1810 in the House of Commons, and from 1811 to 1814, and had for his colleague William R. Johnson, distinguished for his success with race horses, to which amusement the people of Warren are still much addicted. In the year 1814 Mr. Miller was elected Governor of the State, and served till 1817. His administration was during the war with England, and Governor Millernobly sustained all the war measures of Mr. Madison and promptly and efficiently aided in its vigorous prosecution. In March, 1825, he was appointed by the President charge d'affaires to Guatemala, Central America, and died while on that mission.

        Weldon Nathaniel Edwards, born 1788, died 1873, was long a resident and representative of this County. He was a native of Northampton, born about two miles from Gaston; he read law with Judge Hall. He succeeded Governor Miller in 1814 as a member of the Legislature, and was re-elected in 1815. In 1816 he was elected a member of the 15th Congress, succeeding Mr. Macon, who had been elected to the Senate and served until the 18th Congress, 1825-27, when he declined a re-election to Congress, and was succeeded by Daniel Turner. He was elected to the Senate of the State in 1833, and served till 1844. He was a delegate in 1835, with Mr. Macon, to the convention to amend the State Constitution. In 1850-52 he was elected again, and chosen to preside over the Senate. In 1861 he was elected to and was chosen President of the convention which met at Raleigh on May 20, 1861. This body passed the ordinance of secession of North Carolina from the Union, and it closed the political career of Mr. Edwards, which in life to him had been so full of promise and enjoyment, and which closed under circumstances of sorrow and melancholy. The war and its sad effects had impaired his large estate, the desolation of his section and losses of his friends pressed deeply upon his generous and humane disposition. He died December 18, 1873. He married, in 1823, Lucy Norfleet, of Halifax, with whom he lived for more than fifty years in quiet and unbroken felicity.*

        * Although naturally depressed by the sufferings of his people, yet his last days were spent in peace and plenty--his estate was worth near $100,000.--ED.

        There are few families that have produced members who have served their country with more integrity and ability than the Bragg family. The father, Thomas Bragg, was a citizen and native of Warren County. He was industrious and intelligent, a house carpenter by trade. It was while he was engaged in repairing the old State House that it was destroyed by fire, the elaborate and matchless statute of Washington, made in Italy by Canova, being lost in the flames.* His wife was a lady of extraordinary energy and intelligence, who imparted to her children the same decided traits of character that she possessed. This accords with the remark of Dr. Rush in his work "On the Mind," that he "never read of a great man who did not have an active and intelligent mother," verifying the trite adage, "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." Dickens says, "The virtues of mothers are visited

        * An appropriation was made to rebuild the Capitol at a cost of about $300,000. The commissioners for rebuilding were Samuel F. Patterson, then Treasurer of the State; Duncan Cameron, Alfred Jones, Charles Manly and Beverly Daniel.

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