The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

Bookmark and Share

impression on my own mind, and carried conviction to all who heard it.

        The simple facts of the case were: One of the members from the Cape Fear country had lost or mislaid the certificate of his election; the question arose in the minds of many, could a member take a seat without the evidence that he was duly elected? Alfred Moore then arose and addressed the House.

        His manner of speaking, the melody of his voice, the polished periods of his sentences, commanded the attention of all, while his argument and reasoning influenced their judgments.

        There was no question of the fact that the member had been elected, and that he had lost or mislaid the certificate of the sheriff holding the election.

        Mr. Moore traced the history of the mode of elections, as had existed from the foundation of the State, and also the mode in the Colonial period, that whenever the Governor called the Legislature, which body was composed of a Council, who were appointed by the Crown to advise with the Governor, and the House, which was composed of members elected by the people from each county; he directed the Clerk of the Crown or the Secretary to issue writs of election to each sheriff, to call together the people and to elect such number of names as the county was entitled to as members, and when executed and the election made, to endorse on said writ the names of the persons elected, and to transmit the said writ to the Clerk of the House or Crown or Secretary, as the case might be. This return was filed and recorded. On the day appointed for the meeting of the Assembly, the endorsement was read by him, and the persons called and qualified.

        He further argued the person elected had no right to the custody of the certificate, no more than a party who sues out a writ. It was a part of the records of the court, and the party elected had no right to its possession.

        This able argument was more effective by the ornate and elegant manner with which it was delivered.

        No reply was attempted, and the member was unanimously admitted.

        This question, we are aware, has been since decided differently; (Ennet's Case, 1842,) but it was when party arose superior to patriotism.

        It has been often my good fortune to hear Clay in his happiest moods, and Calhoun's powerful logic, and Webster in his massive eloquence, but neither of these excelled this extempore effort of Mr. Moore, whose powers as a speaker were only excelled by courtly elegance of manners and simplicity and modesty of demeanor.

        Mr. Moore was of a family long and well known for their integrity, their intellectual powers, and their devotion to the cause of liberty and law.

        This family is of Irish descent, and claim to belong to the Chiefs O'More. The ancestor in America was James, who came to Charleston and married, in 1665, a daughter of Gov. Yeamans, who was Governor of Carolina in 1671.

        He became Governor of Carolina in 1700, upon the death of Joseph Blake. He was supposed to be the grandson of Roger Moore, the leader of the Irish rebellion of 1641, and inherited the rebellious blood of his sire.*

        * See Hume's England.

        Money's Hist, of Ireland.

        Drake's Biographical Dict.

        Carrol's Collections of S. C.

        Davis at C. Hill, 26.

By his marriage with Miss Yeamans he had ten children.

        The eldest son, of the same name, was worthy of his father. He acquired military renown in his campaigns against the Indians.

        He, in 1703, marched to North Carolina to
Page 49 of 471
Index - Contents
Featured Books & CD-ROMS