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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY

OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES





1796-1866

From a portrait by William Carl Broune, 1859, in possession of John Motley

Morehead III, Rye, N. Y., showing the charter of the

North Carolina R. R. in his right hand



John Motley Morehead

and

The Development

of

North CaroHna

1796-1866

By

BURTON ALVA KONKLE



AUTHOR OF

"The Life and Writings of James Wilson,"

etc.



WITH

An Introddction

BY



HON. HENRY G. CONNOR, LL.D.

Judge of the United States District Court, Eastern District of

North Carolina



WILLIAM J. CAMPBELL

PHILADELPHIA

1922



Copyright, 1922

By

Burton Alva Konkle



PRINTED IN U.9.A.

PATTERSON A WHITE CO.

PHILADELPHIA



,w



TO

Walter Roy Konkle

A
COURIER TO THE FRONT LINES

IN
THE THIRTY-SECOND DIVISION

AT
CHATEAU-THIERRY



T TPT? APV



Contents



Chapter


I.


Chapter


II,


Chapter


III,


Chapter


IV,


Chapter


V,


Chapter


VI,


Chapter


VII,


Chapter


VIII,


Chapter


IX.


Chapter


X.


Chapter


XI,


Chapter


XII,


Chapter


XIII,


Chapter


XIV,


Chapter


XV,



Chapter XVI.



Chapter XVII.



A Son of the Piedmont, 1796 1

Under Three Great Teachers, 1811 12

Love as Well as Law, and "Quiescere non

Possum," 1819 36

Lost Atlantis' Legacy of Problems to North

Carolina 50

Morehead Attacks the Educational and Con-
stitutional Problems, 1821 63

Other Problems Follow, 1822 76

Measures for Development and Its Organ, a

New Constitution, 1828 101

Revision of the Constitution and Transfer

of Political Power to the West, 1835. 144

Morehead and the Rise of the Whig Party

in North Carolina, 1836 170

A Whig Leader and Governor and the First

Railways, 1840 199

The Same Continued, 1842 225

A National Whig Leader, a Presidential Pos-
sibility and President of the National
Whig Convention, Philadelphia, 1845. 273

His Campaign to Unite East and West

North Carolina by Railroads, 1849... 294

President and Builder of the North Caro-
lina Railroad, 1850 308

Building the Eastern Extension and. an
Ocean Port, and Whig Leadership,
1856 324

He Enters the Assembly to Defend and Ex-
tend the Railway West and North. A
Great Vision of Transportation, 1858. 345

Defender of the Union in the State Senate

and National Whig Convention, 1859. . 363



Chapter XVIII. The Peace Conference : Governor More-
head's Last Efforts to Preserve the
Union, 4th February, 1861 374

Chapter XIX. In the Confederate Provisional Congress,

Richmond, July, 1861-February, 1862. 386

Chapter XX. The Closing Years of "The Father of Mod-
ern North Carolina," 1862-1866 399



Illustrations

I. Frontispiece : John Motley Morehead I.
II. Maps of the Piedmont and Roanoke Valley.. 1

III. Maps of Virginia Counties Created, 1634 to

1675, with Kent Island 2

IV. Maps of Virginia Counties Created, 1671 to

1733 4

V. Maps of Virginia Counties Created 1734 to

1748 5

VI. Lauchope House, Lanarkshire, Scotland 6

VII. "Old South Hall" and Dialectic Society, Uni-
versity of North Carolina 24

VIII. Map of North Carolina, with places men-
tioned, 1819 36

IX. Archibald DeBow Murphey 42

X. Book-plate of John Motley Morehead 49

XI. Maps Showing the Origin of North Carolina,

1665 to 1695 54

XII. Maps of North Carolina County Development,

1696 to 1749 56

XIII. State Capitol at Raleigh, 1794-1831 64

XIV. Map of North Carolina, showing what is

now Tennessee, 1783 68

XV. Map of North Carolina, showing East-West

and Valley Divisions, 1821 74

XVI. "Blandwood," the Morehead residence,

Greensboro, in 1921 80

XVII. First "Carlton" letter, heading and signature,

1827 92

XVIII. Joseph Caldwell 96

XIX. The Original Cotton Mill of Mr. Morehead

at Leaksville (Spray), N. C 104

XX. Map of North Carolina, showing Eastern

Counties that joined the West, 1831 110

XXI. Map of North Carolina, showing vote for,
and ratification of the new State Consti-
tution, 1835 168



XXII. First Picture of a Train in a Xorth Carolina

Paper, 1836 170

XXIII. Map of X'orth Carolina, showing the Whig

Vote of 1836 174

XXIV. Edgeworth Female Seminary, Greensboro,

X. C '. 178

XXV. A Raleigh & Gaston Railroad Coach, First

Picture, 1838 182

XXVI. A Georgia Train, of 1838 184

XXVII. Map of Xorth Carolina, showing Railroads

and Whig Vote, 1840 210

XXVIII. Executive Mansion, or "Government House,"

Raleigh, 1840 212

XXIX. The Capitol, Raleigh, 1840 and Today 214

XXX. Governor John Motley Morehead, 1841 216

XXXI. Xational Whig Convention Hall, Philadel-
phia, exterior and interior, 1848 282

XXXII. .Mrs. John Motley Morehead, 1855 320

XXXIII. Railroad Map of North Carolina in 1856.... 322

XXXIV. Map of Morehead City (Port), North Caro-

lina, 1857 340

XXXV. ?klap of North Carolina, showing Unionist

Vote, 1860 370

XXXVI. Confederate Capitol, Richmond, 1861-65.... 392

XXXVII. Railroad Map of North Carolina in 1865.... 412
XXXVIII. Bust of Governor John Motley Morehead, at

Raleigh 418



Preface

In 1906, when the present writer was director of the
patriotic effort to honor the chief maker of our national
constitution, James Wilson, by removing his remains from
Edenton, North Carolina, to Philadelphia, the leaders of that
state were so generous and gracious in their cooperation, that
I expressed the hope that both Pennsylvania and myself
might render some reciprocal service in recognition of it.

Fourteen years passed before the opportunity came, when
I accidentally came to know something of the career of this
famous Carolina statesman, Governor John Motley More-
head, and his relations to the development of that great
state. By a strange coincidence, his name was the earliest
public name to fasten itself in the mind of the writer, as a
mere boy in Indiana overhearing a conversation of his
parents, in which occurred the expression "How could so
good a man as Governor Morehead do it?" — meaning,
thereby, join the secession movement. Doubtless the reason
why this caught the Hoosier lad's attention in those middle
'60s, was because he had never before heard that a secession-
ist could be "good," so he wondered about this unique case
and remembered it. When the boy grew to be a man, how-
ever, and was nursed in an illness in the South, where he was
writing some sketches, by the daughter of a Confederate
Congressman and sister of a General in her armies, the veil
fell from those same parents' eyes and they saw that good-
ness was by no means confined to one section ; while the son
came to have some of the dearest friends of his life in the
Southland, and became one of the generation that knows
no South, no East, no West, no North, but only one mag-
nificent country.

To write a life of Morehead, therefore, became to one
who, for twenty-five years had written on Pennsylvania's
relation to national history, a unique adventure, made pos-
sible through the exigencies of the great war. That event
came at a period when my six-volume. Life and Writings



of James Wilson, and my David Lloyd and the First Half-
Century of Pennsylvania were ready for press and hence
delayed. My George Bryan and the Constitution of Penn-
sylvania was then produced, and was issued in the spring
of 1922, while the present volume appears in the following
autumn. It is the purpose of the writer to issue the Lloyd
in the spring of 1923 and a new work Thomas Willing and
the First Half -Century of American Finance the fall of that
year, to be followed by the six-volume Life and Writings
of James Wilson, and following that William Wilkins and
the Rise and Fall of Democracy in Pennsylvania. The
process sounds much like a bombardment, which, as the
congestion of issue is due to the great war, may be consid-
ered perfectly natural.

In preparing the Morchead and its study of the great state
of North Carolina, many delightful friendships and cour-
tesies should be mentioned if they were not so numerous.
A few must certainly be recognized, and first among them
are those of my friend Major John Motley Morehead III,
the distinguished scientist and engineer of the Union Carbide
and Carbon Corporation of New York, grandson of the sub-
ject of this volume, who, although not a resident of the state
for nearly thirty years, has become one of her honored sons,
a discoverer of that notable product acetylene gas, as his
equally distinguished father, James Turner Morehead, was
of carbide. Major Morehead issued his own beautiful vol-
ume. The Morehead Family of Virginia and North Carolina
in 1921, and his encouragement made the present volume
possible. In Raleigh the helpfulness of Chief Justice Walter
Clark, Professor R. D. W. Connor, Dr. D. H. Hill, Mr. R. B.
House, Col. Fred Olds, Col. J. Bryan Grimes, and others of
the Historical Commission ; Marshall Delancey Haywood
of the Law Library; Justice Hoke of the Supreme Court;
Governor Morrison, Judge H. G. Connor of the United
States Court ; Col. Samuel A. Ashe, clerk of that Court ;
Miss Mary Hilliard Hinton; Mr. W. D. Self, clerk of the
State Corporation Commission; Mrs. H. S. Gay; and last,
but by no means least. State Librarian, Miss Carrie Brough-
ton, and her efficient and courteous stafif to whom the writer



is greatly indebted for aid in his long work in that insti-
tution. In Greensboro also the aid of Mrs. Joseph M.
Morehead, her son James T. Morehead, Esq., Mr. Victor
C. McAdoo, John Michaux, Esq., Judge Wm. B. Bynum
and Librarian Nellie C. Rowe and her staff of the Public
Library and former Librarian, Miss Caldwell, must be ac-
knowledged ; as well as that of Mr. and Mrs. B. Frank
Mebane, and Senator and Mrs. Walker of Spray; and Mrs.
W. T. Harris of Danville, Va., as also Mr. and Mrs. Lindsay
Patterson of Winston-Salem ; John M. Morehead, Esq., of
Charlotte ; J. Lathrop Morehead, Esq., and Professor Boyd
of Trinity College, Durham ; Dr. J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton
of the University of North Carolina ; William Henry Hoyt,
Esq., of New York; Mrs. J. Allison Hodges; Miss Emma
Morehead Whitfield and Mr. Morgan P. Robinson of Rich-
mond, Va., and Mrs. Gen. R. D. Johnston of Winchester,
Va., cannot be passed by. Among these, the writer is es-
pecially grateful to Professor Connor and Mr. House for
patient criticism of the text. He has also to express warm
appreciation of the willingness of his valued friend, Judge
Henry G. Connor, to write the introduction — a man of whom
Bishop Cheshire has recently so beautifully said — "He
stands so high that no man can be put above him and few on
his level."

Finally, a word about the maps : These are chiefly new,
prepared by the author from the best available sources, and,
where originals do not exist, by a constructive process based
on the principle that if a county is wholly derived from an-
other county the latter must have contained the former — the
only mode by which an approximate map of some counties
can be obtained. The maps are designed for illustration of
the text, however, not as minute and ultimate authorities,
even though they have aimed at accuracy. That some fron-
tier counties were created to extend to the Pacific ocean
illustrates the vague notions of geography and the varying
extent of British claims westwardly at different periods,
not necessarily the legal bounds.

BURTON ALVA KONKLE.

SWARTHMORE, 30tH JANUARY, 1922.



Introduction

As the result of repeated efforts by the people of Western
North Carolina to secure amendments to the Constitution of
1776, a Convention composed of two delegates from each
County, met at Raleigh, June 4, 1835. The members of this
Convention were instructed by the Act, pursuant to which
the people ratified the call, to reduce the number of Senators
to not less than thirty-four nor more than fifty, to be elected
by Districts composed of Counties in proportion to the
amount of public taxes paid into the Treasury of the State
by the citizens thereof, and to reduce the number of the
House of Commons to not less than ninety, nor more than
one hundred and twenty, to be elected by Counties or Dis-
tricts according to their federal population, each County to
have at least one member of the House of Commons. The
adoption of other amendments was committed to the dis-
cretion of the Convention. The demand for a change in
the basis of representation had, for more than thirty years,
been a subject of deep concern, and at times intense
feeling, to the people of the Central and Western Counties.
The County system prevented making this and other
changes necessary to bring the organic law into harmony
with the growth of the State, and enable the West to
secure a system of Internal Improvement with State aid.
This aroused the fear of Eastern Delegates that plans would
be adopted, fixing upon that Section, where the burden
would be heaviest, taxation for the building of railroads and
highways.

A prominent Western delegate said : "If the West had the
power, a system of Internal Improvements would be com-
menced which would change the face of things and put at
once a check to the tide of emigration which is depopulating
the State."

A leading exponent and advocate of the Eastern view de-
clared that "Highways, or other modes of transportation,
would not benefit the West because nine-tenths of their
land is exhausted and not worth cultivation, contrasted



with hundreds and thousands of acres brought into market
in the Southwestern States."

Swain, Morehead and other Western delegates, with
Gaston from the East, led the contest for the change.
Gaston discussed, with the ability and broad patriotism
which always marked and controlled his course in dealing
with every question, the origin and history of the contro-
versy. The struggle of the strong men of the East and the
West, who were called upon to settle this question, the merits
of which are so clear to us now, resulted in the adoption of
the Report, fixing the number of Senators at Fifty, elected
from Districts formed upon the basis of property and tax-
ation and the members of the House of Commons at One
Hundred and Twenty, based upon Federal numbers — each
County having at least one member, the remaining members
being apportioned among the larger Counties. This plan was
adopted by a vote of 75 to 52, the negative vote coming
from the East. A sufficient number of Eastern delegates,
under the leadership of Gaston, joining with the West,
carried the question. It is impossible to understand the "de-
velopment of North Carolina" from 1835 to 1860, unless we
read the Debates in the Convention of 1835.

Morehead, as the advocate and wise leader of those
policies, was elected Governor in 1840 and again in 1842.
He was among the earliest, most enthusiastic and influential
founders of the movement which culminated in the con-
struction of the North Carolina Railroad and a system of
roads extending from Beaufort to Charlotte and from Salis-
bury to the Tennessee line.

The story of the labors of Governor Morehead, to
whom the title has been given of the "Architect and Builder
of Public Works of North Carolina," is intensely interesting
and stimulating to patriotic pride. This story is most inter-
estingly told by Mr. Konkle in the following pages.

Recalling the pessimistic utterances of the reactionary
sentiment of members of the Convention of 1835, we see the
realization of the vision of Governor Morehead, Gaston and
those who co-operated with them, as eloquently and truth-
fully described by one who has made a study of our history :
"The traveler today, along the line of the North Carolina
Railroad, sees the fulfilment of Morehead's dream. He



finds himself in one of the most productive Sections of the
New World. He traverses it from one end to the other
at a speed of forty miles an hour, surrounded by every com-
fort and convenience of modern travel. He passes through
a region bound together by a thousand miles of steel rails,
by telegraph and telephone lines and by nearly two thousand
miles of improved country roads. He finds a population
engaged not only in agriculture, but in manufacturing, in
commerce, in transportation and in a hundred other enter-
prises. He hears the hum of hundreds of modern mills
and factories operating millions of spindles and looms by
steam, water, electricity, employing more than fifty millions
of capital and sending their products to the uttermost parts
of the earth. His train passes through farm lands v/hich,
since Morehead's time, has increased in value more than
ten fold, producing ten times as much cotton and a hundred
times as much tobacco. From his car window he sees a
thousand modern schoolhouses, alive with the energy and
activity of one hundred thousand school children. He
passes through cities of twenty to thirty thousand and towns
of five to ten thousand inhabitants. Better than all, he finds
himself among a people no longer characterized by lethargy,
isolation and ignorance, but bristling with energy, alert with
every opportunity, fired with the spirit of the modern world
and with their faces steadfastly set to the future. The
foundation on which all this prosperity and progress rests is
the work done by John M. Morehead or inspired by
him."

But my office is to introduce the author and invite the
reader, who would know the mental, moral, political and
social qualities and characteristics of the "rare individual,
both architect and contractor, both poet and man of action,
to whom is given the power to dream and the power to exe-
cute," of whom Mr. Konkle has made a thorough sympa-
thetic study and of whom he has preserved a faithful and
most interesting history to a closer acquaintance with his
hero. Mr. Konkle has, by a careful, intelligent study of
our records, made a permanent and most valuable contribu-
tion to the history of the State of North Carolina and her
people.

H. G. Connor.



with hundreds and thousands of acres brought into market
in the Southwestern States."

Swain, Morehead and other Western delegates, with
Gaston from the East, led the contest for the change.
Gaston discussed, with the ability and broad patriotism
which always marked and controlled his course in dealing
with every question, the origin and history of the contro-
versy. The struggle of the strong men of the East and the
West, who were called upon to settle this question, the merits
of which are so clear to us now, resulted in the adoption of
the Report, fixing the number of Senators at Fifty, elected
from Districts formed upon the basis of property and tax-
ation and the members of the House of Commons at One
Hundred and Twenty, based upon Federal numbers — each
County having at least one member, the remaining members
being apportioned among the larger Counties. This plan was
adopted by a vote of 75 to 52, the negative vote coming
from the East. A sufificient number of Eastern delegates,
under the leadership of Gastoii, joining with the West,
carried the question. It is impossible to understand the "de-
velopment of North Carolina" from 1835 to 1860, unless we
read the Debates in the Convention of 1835.

Morehead, as the advocate and wise leader of those
policies, was elected Governor in 1840 and again in 1842.
He was among the earliest, most enthusiastic and influential
founders of the movement which culminated in the con-
struction of the North Carolina Railroad and a system of
roads extending from Beaufort to Charlotte and from Salis-
bury to the Tennessee line.

The story of the labors of Governor Morehead, to
whom the title has been given of the "Architect and Builder
of Public Works of North Carolina," is intensely interesting
and stimulating to patriotic pride. This story is most inter-
estingly told by Mr. Konkle in the following pages.

Recalling the pessimistic utterances of the reactionary
sentiment of members of the Convention of 1835, we see the
realization of the vision of Governor Morehead, Gaston and
those who co-operated with them, as eloquently and truth-
fully described by one who has made a study of our history:
"The traveler today, along the line of the North Carolina
Railroad, sees the fulfilment of Morehead's dream. He



finds himself in one of the most productive Sections of the
New World. He traverses it from one end to the other
at a speed of forty miles an hour, surrounded by every com-
fort and convenience of modern travel. He passes through
a region bound together by a thousand miles of steel rails,
by telegraph and telephone lines and by nearly two thousand
miles of improved country roads. He finds a population
engaged not only in agriculture, but in manufacturing, in
commerce, in transportation and in a hundred other enter-
prises. He hears the hum of hundreds of modern mills
and factories operating millions of spindles and looms by
steam, water, electricity, employing more than fifty millions
of capital and sending their products to the uttermost parts
of the earth. His train passes through farm lands which,
since Morehead's time, has increased in value more than
ten fold, producing ten times as much cotton and a hundred
times as much tobacco. From his car window he sees a
thousand modern schoolhouses, alive with the energy and
activity of one hundred thousand school children. He
passes through cities of twenty to thirty thousand and towns
of five to ten thousand inhabitants. Better than all, he finds
himself among a people no longer characterized by lethargy,
isolation and ignorance, but bristling with energy, alert with
every opportunity, fired with the spirit of the modern world
and with their faces steadfastly set to the future. The
foundation on which all this prosperity and progress rests is
the work done by John M. Morehead or inspired by
him."

But my office is to introduce the author and invite the
reader, who would know the mental, moral, political and
social qualities and characteristics of the "rare individual,
both architect and contractor, both poet and man of action,
to whom is given the power to dream and the power to exe-
cute," of whom Mr. Konkle has made a thorough sympa-
thetic study and of whom he has preserved a faithful and
most interesting history to a closer acquaintance with his
hero. Mr. Konkle has, by a careful, intelligent study of
our records, made a permanent and most valuable contribu-
tion to the history of the State of North Carolina and her
people.

H. G. Connor.



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Map of the Piedmont
Prepared by the author




Map of the Roanoke Valley
Prepared by the author



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I

A Son of the Piedmont

1796

If on July 4, 1796, the Goddess of Liberty had already
surmounted the dome of a Capitol and a Washington, yet
to be, on the banks of the Potomac; and she could have
raised to her eyes a seven-leagued field-glass and looked
with superhuman view to the southwestward and beheld a
strip of land about one hundred miles wide, lined with
Appalachian foot-hills on the right and the water-falls of
every river that crossed it on the left, generally about a
hundred miles back from the ocean, and extending through
four states and into Alabama at Montgomery — the capi-
toline deity would have covered in her purview a region
that has a peculiar character and has acquired exclusive
possession of the name "Piedmont."^ And in her fore-
ground, her glass would have easily picked out, among more
than a score of rivers that cross it, with their rich valleys,
one among the most rich and most extensive, in its wind-
ings, lacing together the two states of Virginia and North
Carolina, prefiguring a time to come when bands of iron
should replace it. This rich region is the valley of the
Roanoke, which lies like a great wallet full of treasures
toward the foot-hills, with its neck ready to pour them
through Carolina into the Albemarle, if she should have a
port to receive it or the water-falls did not choke the passage.
And could so extensive a view permit the Goddess to see
things more minute, she would have witnessed, in the very
heart of the upper part of the valley in the lands between the
lower two- of three great tributaries, the Dan and Banister



^Technically, the name Piedmont is applied only to the western half; but
the line of separation is so indefinite that the name is often applied to the
whole.



2 JOHN MOTLEY MOREHEAD

rivers, on a farm in Pittsylvania county, Virginia, near the
Carolina border, the birth of a farmer boy, John Motley
Morehead, destined to be one of the great figures of Pied-



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