believed that he was fairly elected. It was nearly a tie in the popular vote, and Graham's seat was contested by him. The House, unable or unwilling to decide, referred the election back to the people, and Graham was elected.
He immigrated to Wisconsin, and was so successful in politics that he was elected to the Legislature, and on several occasions was chosen Speaker. But broken down in fortune and health and hopes, he went to Washington City, where he engaged in "the wild hunt for office." After fruitless attempts, failing to obtain any position, however menial, he sunk in despair, and on 20th December, 1857, his body was found in the Tiber. He had committed suicide.
--Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio.
A fellow of infinite jest, and most excellent humor.
Todd R. Caldwell was born in Morganton, February 19, 1818. His father, John Caldwell, was a native of Ireland; settled in Morgauton in 1800, and became a leading merchant in that place.
He was well educated, and graduated at the University, 1840, in a large class, with such men as Judge Barnes, Judge Shipp, John W. Cuuningham, William Johnston, and others, with honor. He read law with Governor Swain, and was admitted to the bar in 1840, and soon attained an extensive practice.
He entered the arena of politics in 1842, and continued in its exciting pursuit as long as he lived. He was an old Line Whig of the strictest sense.
In 1848 he was one of the electors, and cast the vote of the State for Taylor and Filmore. On the breaking out of the civil war, he was the friend of the Union and the foe of secession.
In 1865, he was elected a delegate to the first State Convention that met after the war. In 1868 he was nominated as Lieutenant-Governor on same ticket with Governor Holden, and was elected. On deposition of Governor Holden, in 1871, he succeeded him as Governor.
As a criminal lawyer he had much reputation; and as a politician, much success, rarely failing in an election before the people. In 1872 he was nominated as Governor, and opposed by Judge Merrimon. After a heated canvass he was elected.
He married the eldest daughter of William Cain, and niece of late Judge Ruffin. He died, after a short illness, at Hillsboro, on the 11th February, 1874, and was succeeded as Governor by Hon. C. A. Brogden, of Wayne County.
R. C. Pearson was one of the most useful and patriotic citizens of Burke County, where he was born, lived and died.
He was an honest and intelligent merchant, a skillful financier (president of the branch bank of the State,) and one of the most earnest friends of internal improvements in the State. From the day he organized the first stockholders' meeting in 1855, at Salisbury, of the Western, N. C., Railroad, and through the weary years that followed, he was the stay and backbone of the belt of counties between Rowan and Buncombe. What Morehead was to the Central, so was Pearson to the Western Railroad.
But it was in private life, as a friend and a neighbor, that the traits of his real character were most conspicuous. During the long and bloody civil war, although firm in his devotion to his native land and people, his house and his heart was open to all Confederate wounded soldiers, and an asylum for their widows and orphans. His death caused a deeper sorrow than was ever evinced in our community, and his memory--
--Sleeps in blessings,
And has a tomb of orphan tears,
Wept over him.
He left several children to imitate his example and emulate his virtues.
Index - Contents