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Thomas S. Kenan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Liberty Hall marker outside of Liberty hall Restoration
Liberty Hall marker outside of Liberty hall Restoration

Thomas Stephen Kenan (February 26, 1771 – October 22, 1843) was the son of Revolutionary War General James Kenan, a plantation owner and builder of the first "Liberty Hall". He was a U.S. Congressman from North Carolina between 1805 and 1811.[citation needed]

Born in Kenansville, North Carolina, Kenan was educated by private tutors at home. He married Mary Rand Kenan on January 3, 1800,[1] and soon after the second Liberty Hall was built located in Kenansville after his father's home had been lost to fire.[citation needed]

Kenan was a member of the North Carolina House of Commons representing Duplin County from 1798 to 1799. Between 1799 and 1803 he served in the North Carolina Senate in 1804. In 1804, Kenan was elected to the 9th United States Congress and was reelected to terms in the 10th and 11th Congresses (March 4, 1805 – March 3, 1811). He did not stand for reelection in 1810.[2]

He and Mary Rand had ten children and in March 1811 Thomas decided to move the family to Selma, Alabama, to start a new plantation. Thomas left behind his oldest son Owen Rand Kenan to look after the Liberty Hall Plantation and start his own family. While in Alabama, Thomas served as an Alabama State Representative.[3]

Kenan later moved to Selma, Alabama in 1833, where he engaged in planting; he served in the Alabama House of Representatives for several years before dying near Selma in 1843, aged 72. He is buried in Selma's Valley Creek Cemetery.[citation needed]

He died in October 1843. He and his wife are buried at Valley Creek Cemetery near Selma.[4]

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/3
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  • ✪ NC State Watauga Medal Winner Thomas S. Kenan III
  • ✪ Clyde Edgerton, Crossroads
  • ✪ Episode 2 - The Adventures of the Open Dream Ensemble


Tom is a member of the Kennan Charitable Trust, one of the three trustees. And he is also on the fund of the Kenan fund for Engineering, Technology and science, which Is the organization that funds the kenan institute directly. He has had a long term relationship with NC State and also became the director of the Randleigh Foundation, which handled Randleigh farm, which was given to CALS originally. It was sold by NC State and then that money went to support the College of Vet Medicine, as well as the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. And the then chancellor and I sat down and I said I think you ought to redo the library and the Vet School. And maybe, and do it in Mr. Kenan’s memory. So, they completely redid the library. If you’ve seen it, it’s really state of the art. Then with the bulk of the funds I said why don’t we create a Rand Lee museum to show kids what it was like way back then in the twenties, thirties, and forties, and then couple that with twenty-first century milking parlor and everything, so they can see. Tom has facilitated some wonderful strengthening in our faculty retention and also strengthening in our programs here at NC State, especially in engineering, science, technology, and in education. The Kennan Fellows Program is one that I’m particularly thrilled about. The Kennan Fellowes Program is the program within the Kennan Institute. And we began that about twelve years ago seeing the demand for new programs to help some of our better teachers in the sciences and the mathematics to feel like they’re part of the scientific community and to provide better linkages so these individuals and these teachers with industry and the university, so they become more familiar with the cutting edge technology that’s being generated by both industry and the university and they can translate that technology into curriculum tools that would get out k-12 students interested in science, interested in math, interested in engineering as a career. They try to go out into the public schools and find the brightest and the finest young science teachers, and this program takes them and mentors them with professors, from Duke, Carolina, State and they mentor them and they learn so much. We’ve had over two-hundred and fifty Kennan Fellowes. They have won numerous awards. They have done extremely well. And one of the things that we’re most proud of is that ninety-three percent of those individuals are still in teaching. Well, Tom Kennan in addition to doing all of these great things I must say is one of the nicest persons you’ll ever meet. He’s, I never heard him say a bad thing about anyone. He’s completely supportive of all kinds of efforts of our bright range, even when there are personal issues. I have a son that was diagnosed with Leukemia a year ago. And he’s just getting past the stage, he and his whole family were extremely supportive and I can’t thank him enough for it. What they do for the state and for individuals like me when it comes to time of needs they’re there.


  1. ^ Duplin Co. NC marriage Bonds, NC Archives
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 23, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Official Liberty Hall Archives
  4. ^ Tombstones, Valley Creek Cemetery, Selma Alabama

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
James Gillespie
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
William R. King
This page was last edited on 21 May 2019, at 10:10
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