The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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believe that either would do honor to the State and defend to "the last gasp of loyalty," her character and her interest. Many politicians will doubtless say, like Pope,

                         How happy would we be with either,
                         Were the other dear charmer away.

        Of Judge Merrimon's career in the Senate it is not necessary to speak. It has given him a national reputation for integrity of purpose, for unsullied patriotism, and extensive acquirements. We may read its "History in a nation's eyes." To the interests of his constituents he has ever manifested vigilance and caution. No one has ever applied to him for his kind offices that failed to receive prompt and efficient attention. Always at his post, vigilant in observation, he has proved himself a faithful sentinel of the rights of the State, of individuals, and the Nation.

        That he deserves high reputation, is not questioned.

        He must have intrinsic merit who, in spite of the disadvantages of a defective education, has become the peer of the proudest of our land, and raised himself from the labors of a saw mill to the honors of a Senate chamber.

        He was succeeded by Governor Vance, March, 1879.

        Judge Merrimon married on 14th September, 1852, Margaret J Baird, by whom he has an interesting family.

        Thomas Lanier Clingman resides at Asheville, in this county.

        He was born in the county of Yadken, then Surry Couny, July 27, 1812, the son of Jacob Clingman and Jane Poindexter,*

        * Alexander Clingman, the grandfather of General Clingman, came to American from Germany before the Revolution. The name signifies, in German, a swordsman and a fighter. He was a soldier in many battles in the Revolutionary war, and was a prisoner taken at Charleston at Lincoln's surrender. He married Elizabeth Kaiser and had several children, among them was Jacob, who left four children, Thomas, John Patillo, Elizabeth, who married Richard Puryear, and Alexander. The father of the mother of Gen'l Clingman was of the Poindexters of Virginia. Her mother was the daughter of Henry Patillo, of Grandville; her first husband was Robert Lanier, whose sister was the mother of Hon. Lewis Williams. Toindexter is a Norman name, signifying spur horse. He, Alexander, was one of the three prominent Whigs or Regulators who were compelled by Tryon to take the oath of allegiance every six months, at Court.

        Jane, Clingman's mother, nee Poindexter, was a daughter of Henry Patillo, who was a prominent Whig in the Revolution.

        Rev. Mr. Patillo was a Presbyterian minister, who did good service and whose sermons have been published in a volume. Two of the sons of Mr. Patillo married the sisters of Robert Goodloe Harper.

and named for Dr. Thomas Lanier, his half uncle.

        His early education was conducted by private instructors. He joined the sophomore class at the University, and graduated in 1832, with a class distinguished in after life for usefulness and talents. Judge Thomas S. Ashe, now of the Supreme Court; James C. Dobbin, Secretary of the Navy, 1853-'57; John H. Haughton, Cad. Jones, and others, were of the same class.

        In a diary kept by Governor Swain at that date, I found the following:

        "June, 1832. The graduating class acquitted themselves with much credit, especially young Clingman, of Surry County, who, if he lives, will be an ornament to the State."

        Mr. Clingman entered upon the study of the law with great energy, and was about to enter upon the practice when he, in 1835, was elected a member of the Legislature from Surry County, which was a field more germane to his tastes, where he took a decided position.

        After this service was accomplished he removed to Buncombe County, where he still resides. He acquired much reputation for boldness and ability as a speaker, especially in a debate with Colonel Memminger, at Columbia, S. C., in which Colonel Memminger found himself overmatched. Mr. Clingman, in 1840, was elected by a large majority to the Senate of the State Legislature from Buncombe County.

        This was an exciting epoch in political history, and parties (Democratic and Whig) waged a fierce and ferocious warfare. In the
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