one of the most important committees (the Judiciary), he commanded the confidence and respect of his associates, and many of their most important reports were the results of his acumen and patient investigation. He was most attentive to thse onerous duties; always puctual in his attendance, and rendered essential service in their deliberations.
After four years' service in Congress, to the universal and profound regret of his associates, he was retired from Congress by the nominating convention of his district, and he returned to his profession, which was far more germane to his tastes and his talents than the bustle and excitement of political strife. It is well remembered by the writer of this sketch, how universal and sincere, in Congress and out of it, were the expressions of regret at his retirement. The prediction was then made which soon became prophecy, that "North Carolina was too proud of such a son to allow him to remain long in retirement; that son he would be called on to occupy other and more elevated positions" This precition has been verified; for, without any intimation or exertion on his part, in June, 1878, he was nominated by the State Convention, on the first ballot, as one of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, in preference to a score of the ablest lawyers of the State.
He was triumphantly elected, at the head of the ticket, by the people at the polls, and we predict, again, that the ermine worn so long and so gracefully by our Hall, Henderson, Taylor, ruffin, Daniel, Gaston and others will suffer no detriment from Judge Ashe.
Judge Ashe is now in the meridian of life, and there are years of strength and usefulness yet to be employed by him in the interest of the people of a State that love and honor him. He married a daughter of the late George Burgwin, and has a large and interesting family. He is a member of the Episcopal Church, and a consistent and sincere follower of its sacred tenets.
We conclude our feeble sketch in the words of Cardinal Wolsey of Sir Thomas More:
--He is a learned man?
May he continue long in the people's favor,
And do justice for truth's sake and his conscience;
That his bones, when he has done his course and sleeps in blessings,
May have a tomb of orphans' tears wept over them.
[See Appendix, Genealogy of the Ashe Family.]
Richard Tyler Bennett was born near Wadesboro. He was prepared for college by the Anson Institute, under the superntendence of Professor MeIver, and was for a time a student at the University. He read law under Chief Justice Pearson, and finished his legal studies at Lebanon College, Tennessee.
He ardently entered the Confederate service in the Civil War as a private, refusing the position of an officer; but afterwards, from his gallantry and usefulness, was promoted to a colonelcy. He was engaged in several battles, severely wonded, and finally taken prisoner, and confined in Fort Delaware until the close of the war.
Since the war he has continually resided at Wadesboro, and for some years was the partner of Hon. Thomas S. Ashe.
He was a member of the Convention of 1875, and of the House in 1873-'74. He was selected as elector for his [7th] district on the Hancock ticket, and was doing yeoman's service in this position when he was nominated as Superior Court Judge, in place of Judge Buxton, resgiend, in August, 1880.
"He is," says the Charlotte Democrat, "a gifted advocate, and highly esteemed by the profession."
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