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Willie Person Mangum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Willie Mangum
Willie Mangum.jpg
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
May 31, 1842 – March 3, 1845
Preceded bySamuel L. Southard
Succeeded byAmbrose Hundley Sevier
United States Senator
from North Carolina
In office
November 25, 1840 – March 3, 1853
Preceded byBedford Brown
Succeeded byDavid Reid
In office
March 4, 1831 – November 26, 1836
Preceded byJames Iredell Jr.
Succeeded byRobert Strange
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 8th district
In office
March 4, 1823 – March 18, 1826
Preceded byJosiah Crudup
Succeeded byDaniel Barringer
Personal details
Born(1792-05-10)May 10, 1792
Orange County, North Carolina, United States (now Durham County)
DiedSeptember 7, 1861(1861-09-07) (aged 69)
Durham County, North Carolina, Confederate States of America
Political partyDemocratic (Before 1834)
Whig (1834–1852)
American (1856–1861)
Spouse(s)Charity Cain
EducationUniversity of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (BA)

Willie Person Mangum (pronounced Wylie Parson;[1] May 10, 1792 – September 7, 1861) was a U.S. Senator from the state of North Carolina between 1831 and 1836 and between 1840 and 1853. He was one of the founders and leading members of the Whig party, and was a candidate for president in 1836 as part of the unsuccessful Whig strategy to defeat Martin Van Buren by running four candidates with local appeal in different regions of the country. He is, as of 2018, the only major-party presidential nominee to have been a North Carolinian at the time of his nomination.[2]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ The Black Patriots of North Carolina in the American Revolution
  • ✪ #WPUGrad2019: 2019 Commencement Live Stream


thank you for coming out to Halifax today I think there's a lot to be learned about black soldiers in both the militia and the Continental Army during the American Revolution and there's still a lot more research to be done and I think a lot people when they think about black Patriots during the American Revolution think more of some some of the New England continental lines Salem Poor was at Concord he was at Concord bridge in Bunker Hill early war Oliver Cromwell was in the second New Jersey regiment he received the badge of Military Merit from George Washington also Peter Salem he was in the Massachusetts militia and was credited with mortally wounding the British lieutenant-colonel James Abercrombie at Bunker Hill and then probably the most famous in the research of black Patriots is the the first Rhode Island regiment which was a regiment that was made up of of slaves and in return for their service they were offered an opportunity for freedom for this particular slide though we're gonna shift gears from some of those more famous black Patriots and focus more on what was going on here and in North Carolina and so to start off with I want to talk a little bit about the the demographics of of North Carolina during the colonial periods so the eastern part of North Carolina with a dependence on plantation economy and production of cash crops like tobacco rice and maritime supplies tended to have higher percentages of slaves than the interior of the colony so Halifax County was a major tobacco production area the colonial taxable records that 40 the 60% of the households owned slaves and of the families that owned slaves in Halifax County eight point seven slaves was the average on the 1790s census so one of the things that we're dealing with with any of this research especially colonial period revolution period in North Carolina is just a lack of material we have tax documents that have demographic information on slaves but don't necessarily cover free blacks and we don't really get a census until seventeen until the 1790 census to kind of give us an idea so it's really difficult to say exactly how many free blacks were in Halifax or in North Carolina at the beginning of the American Revolution so based on the 1790 census free non-whites made up about 3.2 percent of the population in Halifax County and this is a quote from from William Tryon in 1765 what he says is that Negroes are very numerous I suppose five to one white person in the maritime counties but as you penetrate into the country few blacks are employed so what he's saying is that these coastal large plantation regions have a higher black population than the areas to the west which are more smaller farms kind of more of a subsistence farming economy to the further west it should also be noted that many of the enslaved people living in North Carolina as well as free blacks were new trades and were had a variety of skills and here's a 1778 North Carolina Gazette it says to be sold for ready money two likely young Negro fellows the one a very good cooper the other a good sailor and has also been used to plantation work so you know a lot of these people are doing a lot of different work you know they're they know they have exposure to a lot of the same trades that that that whites are being exposed to especially in the east Halifax at the beginning of the American Revolution it's been estimated that between 1200 and 1400 people resided in Halifax at the start of the Revolution so this was a much larger town this was a pretty major transportation hub we're at the terminal points of the Roanoke River just just upriver from here in Weldon there's a series of rapids and they and they couldn't get any ocean-going vessels further up river from there so at this point they're loading and unloading vessels if you look at the scheme of things as well during the colonial period you know there's no Raleigh places like Charlotte are just really just a crossroads during this time period I mean Hillsborough is your your biggest Western town during this period so North Carolina is really it's a different topography then than our current mindset as I mentioned it's 1,200 to 1,400 people then Halifax then now what is it 250 is how many people live in Halifax now yeah so you know you really have to think about Halifax differently during that period than you do today free blacks and the law North Carolina's colonial assembly passed a law in 1715 prohibiting the right to vote amongst free blacks so early 18th century we start seeing these first slave codes coming in and this was the first in this series of laws that were designed to keep the population of free blacks and the colony small and disenfranchised both North Carolina and Virginia had laws ordering newly freed slaves to leave their respective colony within six months or be re-enslaved so what you have especially a place like Halifax which is very close to the the border did I say states I mean colonies anyway with North Carolina with this part of North Carolina you've got a lot of freed blacks crossing the border into North Carolina from Virginia and vice versa which you know allows someone to be possibly closer to family and relatives but still not have to worry about this aspect of the law the 1790s census free non-whites made up about three point two percent of the population of Halifax County 1737 the king ordered the 1715 voting law repealed so free blacks could now vote in North Carolina and then in 1776 the fifth Provincial Congress so the Provincial Congress right after the fourth Provincial Congress with the Halifax Resolves the next Provincial Congress which met in Halifax ratified the state constitution for North Carolina and this document made no distinction between races regarding regarding suffrage so at this period you have free blacks able to vote free black men retain the right to vote in North Carolina until 1835 so shortly after the Nat Turner rebellion they revoked the right for free blacks to vote in North Carolina at that time it was estimated that there were 300 black electors in Halifax and a little section from the act to establish a militia for the security and defense of this province militia service in North Carolina was compulsory throughout the 18th century and all in the actual words of the law that all freemen and servants within this province between the age of 16 and 60 shall compose the militia so that that also includes free blacks and this is an excerpt of a muster roll of the regiment in Granville County October 1754 so this is just part of the muster roll but if you take a look at this they put on here that they mark some of the gentlemen on here as being black or mulatto Gilbert Shavers is on here marked as mulatto William Shavers as being a negro Edward Harris so and this is kind of a rare gem where they actually mark on here people's races we don't there's probably tons of other there's a lot more information out there where they just didn't say whether people were black or white so this is one of the ways that that I say that we're at kind of the tip of the iceberg on this it's really difficult to know how many free blacks were serving in the militia during the periods so bring us up to the American Revolution April 19th of 1775 Lexington and Concord takes place up in up in Massachusetts and around the same time the governor of Virginia is making some moves to recruit enslaved individuals so in 1772 John Murray the fourth Earl have done more and last royal governor of Virginia in a letter to Lord Dartmouth the British Secretary of State for the colony discussed the colonists fear of a slave revolt and the potential for a foreign power to recruit the support of slaves so he's kind of thinking about this even before the American Revolution and then basically takes his own you know something he's posting as being a concern before the Revolution he kind of takes that idea and runs with it on April 20th of 1775 Dunmore removed gunpowder from the magazine in Williamsburg to a to a British ship and this kind of this caused a big deal in Virginia a lot of the it was it was kind of a bad PR move for Dunmore on April 22nd in response to angry mobs Dunmore tells the mayor of Williamsburg that he would be willing to destroy the town and proclaim Liberty for slaves and that's you look at the mindset of white planters in the south during this period that's kind of their worst nightmare coming true as this idea of a slave revolt June 8th Dunmore and his family flee Williamsburg and wind up living in exile aboard the HMS fowey I don't know if I pronounced that correctly so Dunmore creates a regiment made out of ex-slaves and he calls this the Ethiopian regiment November 15th 1775 Dunmore declares martial law in Virginia and all indentured servants Negroes or others appertaining to rebels free excuse me all Negroes or others appertaining to rebels in parentheses free that are able and willing to bear arms they joining his Majesty's troops so anyway he's trying to recruit the slaves of what he calls the rebels what today a lot of people probably call the Patriots and something that you know I'm talking about the American Revolution just to keep my life simple I'm gonna call the pro-independence Americans Patriots we'll just use that term to keep it simple although it is more complex than that because you also have Americans that are loyalists as well so one of the major battles that Dunmore's Ethiopian regiment serves in is the battle of Great Bridge and during that battle we also have the destruction of Norfolk taking place and that was the battle of Great Bridge also has soldiers from Halifax going up to it we have members of the of the Halifax Minutemen that are there and they're also there at the at the bombardment of the town of Norfolk this is Dunmore's Ethiopian regiment causes a big stir and even Washington reacts about it Dunmore should be instantly crushed otherwise like a snowball rolling his army will get sighs George Washington that was George Washington's reaction to Dunmore see at the opions in November of 1775 and I put a couple pictures of Washington with his servant Billy Lee on here on the the second picture this one here Washington's actually holding the the Declaration of Independence and the the black gentleman behind him was was his valet and one and also one of his slaves who basically was going with with him everywhere throughout the American Revolution April 12th 1776 the reason we're all here today we have the Halifax resolves and we're probably all familiar with the resolved that delegates from this colony in the Continental Congress be empowered to concur with the delegates of other colonies in declaring independence so you know it this is some of the earliest moves of a colony in North America pushing towards independence from Great Britain that's what the Halifax resolves are famous for Dunmore's proclamation had an effect on a lot of on the fence whites in the South especially planters that sort of helped polarize some undecided white colonists towards independence so amongst other grievances of British rule the Halifax Resolves also references that in the words of the document that governors in different colonies have declared protection to slaves who should imbrue their hands in the blood of their masters so that that's a direct reference to Dunmore's Ethiopian regiment they're basically calling Dunmore as inciting a slave revolt so that's blacks on the loyalist side and there's there's a number of other blacks that serve on the on the loyalist on the British side there's a there's a whole group of black pioneers that serve on the British side some of the members of Dunmore's Ethiopians wind up in the in the Pioneer regiments and by the end of the war a lot of these black loyalists wind up getting transported out of out of America so when when New York is liberated by the by the Patriots at the end of the war the British take about three thousand blacks with them and at one point some of these veterans of service with the loyalists cause they're involved with setting up a a colony in Sierra Leone now obviously the name of this this talk is black Patriots and that's really what I want to focus on when we talk about black Patriots here in North Carolina we're mostly talking about free blacks enlisting in the the patriot militia and also in the Continental Army North Carolina never really has a program like the like the first Rhode Island that offers freedom for enslaved individuals also Virginia experiments with that as well but North Carolina never really enacts legislation like that as far as I could find while the British offered Liberty for enslaved blacks willing to serve the King free blacks had other motivations free blacks served in both the Patriot militias and also in the Continental Army Patriot forces were generally integrated with black and white soldiers serving side-by-side and it has been estimated and that's that's an important thing to think about also is that this is the Continental army is an integrated army and I think that's a really important thing for people to understand that the you know there's there are blacks that are that are part of this continental army militia experience and serving side by side with their with their white compatriots in the same army that are messing together when I say that I mean eating together sharing tents I wasn't able to find any documentation on black NCOs in in North Carolina but like I said I'm kind of at the tip of the iceberg on this I feel like I wouldn't be even surprised to find that there's no as far as I can tell the continental line never has any black officers though as far as I can find but you know we look at even in World War two we didn't have a fully integrated army it has been estimated that 5,000 black soldiers served in the common alarm ii during the american revolution a muster roll for a Continental Army stationed in White Plains New York in August of 1778 listed 755 black soldiers in the ranks 58 of these soldiers were serving with the North Carolina line so and that's something else to think about is those soldiers serving in New York most of them are walking up there so we have soldiers walking from Halifax all the way up to New York and we have soldiers walking from Halifax all the way down south to Charleston South Carolina so these guys are they they don't have an easy ride it's um it's a very you know especially when you look at poor equipment just the to have that kind of commitment to go through with that serves with the excuse me the next I want to kind of take a case study here of a specific continental soldier Billy Flora he served with the Virginia Southern Princess Anne District minute battalion at the battle of Great Bridge on December 9th of 1775 while awaiting reinforcements from Colonel Robert Howe's North Carolina forces Flora was serving as a sentry when a company of British grenadiers attacked his position and in quotations Billy Flora a colored man was the last Sentinel that came into the breastworks and that he did not leave his post until he had fired several times Billy had to cross a plank to get into the breast work and had fairly passed over it when he was seen to turn back and deliberately take up the plank after him amid a shower of musket balls so this this gentleman is the hero of this battle in 1776 Flora would reenlist in the 15th Virginia regiment and served through the remainder of the war his commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Matthews described him as being held in high esteem as a soldier the next thing I tried to look at was pension applications with connections to Halifax and this is just I just I did a quick search of a list of pension applications and anything that had Halifax in it I I put up here and these are these are just 10 of them right in front of me I I can't rule out that there's not and these are just basically the ones that had some reference to the to the soldier being of african-american descent there's probably other soldiers that were that just wasn't even listed in the pension Edward Going was a 5th north carolina a member of 5th North Carolina he was stationed in Halifax this was a Continental Army supply depot they were making equipment for the Continental Army here in Halifax Benjamin Wilkins 2nd north carolina was a resident of halifax and in his pension report he said that he thinks he has killed at least 50 British and Tories William Casey also listed as Kersey was in the Virginia 4th regiment 1777 the 1781 and was transferred to the 1st North Carolina regiment in 1782 he was a waiter to General Sumter in the 1st North Carolina and as part of his enlistment marched through Halifax Moses Manly he was and do remember these pension applications these gentlemen are writing this down late late in life these are being taken in the 1830s so some of them have trouble recollecting which regiment they were in Moses Manly of the 1st or 2nd North Carolina regiment in 1781 served for 12 months he was a resident of Halifax Charles Rowe and these are like as I mentioned again these are primarily free blacks Charles Rowe of Butte County was a militia and third North Carolina regiment he served nine months and he was a levy from the militia so he was a he was serving in the militia and he was drafted into the Continental Army they would draft some soldiers out of the out of the militia Asa Spellmore or Spellman was a tenth North Carolina regiment soldier 1778 nine-month enlistment discharged in Halifax I should also mention that some of these soldiers may be it's it's common at the time it's almost as a patriotic duty I've found accounts of people that wanted to contribute to the war effort would actually pay a soldier to go in their place so some of these soldiers may have been part of that as well basically serving in place or substitutes for other soldiers excuse me for other citizens of Halifax Joel Tayburn was North Carolina tenth North Carolina regiment 1776 1783 marched from Halifax North Carolina to White Plains New York then back south again through Halifax to Charleston South Carolina where he was discharged so this guy went all the way to New York and then all the way back down to Charleston John Womble he was in the third or the tenth North Carolina regiment 1779 to 1780 was recruited in Halifax Arthur Toni was in the third North Carolina regiment 1779 to 1783 he was also a resident of Halifax and John Toni they were they were brothers served in the tenth North Carolina Regiment 12 months in 1781 also a resident of Halifax the most famous African-American continental soldier with connections to Halifax is probably John Chavis John Chavis moved to Halifax around 1766 from Sussex County Virginia and as an indentured servant to attorney James Milner Chavis enlisted in December of 1778 in the 5th Virginia and served for three years he has in the bounty warrant written March of 1783 certified that Chavis had faithfully fulfilled his duties and therefore thereby entitled to all immunities granted to 3-year soldiers in the Continental service after the war he he becomes employed as a tutor in Mecklenburg Virginia we see a reference to that in 1789 then in 1790 he he attended the college of New Jersey today Princeton University and later Liberty Hall Academy in Lexington Virginia today Washington and Lee University November 19th of 1800 he was granted a license to preach by the presbytery of Lexington Virginia and served as a minister in Virginia Maryland and North Carolina and by some accounts I've seen Chavis listed as the first African-American Presbyterian minister in in North America I'm not totally sure about that 1807 or 1808 he relocates to Raleigh and opened a school intended to serve both black and white children and this school appears to be a integrated school early on but unfortunately Chavis was pressured into segregating the school by the fall of 1808 so in the August 26th 1808 edition of the Raleigh Register it talks a little bit says John Chavis takes this method of informing his employers and the citizens of Raleigh in general that the present quarter of this school will end on the 15th of September and the next will commence on the 19th he will at this same time open an evening school an evening school for the purpose of instructing children of color as he intends for the accommodation of some of his employers to exclude all children of color from his day school so he winds up having to do a night school for his African American students at the pressure of some of his of some of his white clients the evening school will commence at an hour by Sun when the white children leave the house those of color will take their place and continue until 10 o'clock the terms of teaching the white children will be as usual two and a half dollars per quarter those of color one dollar and three quarters in both cases the whole of the money be paid in advance to mr. Benjamin S King those who produce certificates from him of their having paid the money will be admitted those who think proper to put their children under his care may rely upon the strictest attention being paid not only to their education but to their morals which he deems an important part of education so John Chavis may have had this man as one of his students Willie P Mangum may have been one of his students if if he was not one of John Chavis' students they they had a close relationship so Willie Mangum was a US Senator for North Carolina and there's a number of letters between John Chavis and Willie Mangum and they were close friends John Chavis would advise Willie Mangum on on political decisions John Chavis was was visiting him from time to time later on after Mangum's death his son Willie Mangum's son would would try and would basically say that that John Chavis had not been a teacher of Willie Mangum it's still sort of up for debate but John Chavis did act as a teacher for some very influential and important people in raleigh in the early 19th century in the wake of the Nat Turner rebellion so August 1831 Nat Turner leads a slave revolt in South Hampton County Virginia killing at least 51 whites North Carolina there is a huge backlash against free blacks at this point North Carolina law forbids the teaching of black children so that shuts down John Chavis' school it also forbids blacks from serving as preachers which shuts down John Chavis as a minister he's forced to close to school and and leave the ministry nonetheless the presbytery would continue to support Chavis with a fifty dollar per year payment until his death in 1838 and this quote is a part of a very powerful letter that John Chavis wrote to Willie P Mangum March 10th of 1832 tell them if I am black I am free born American and a revolutionary soldier and therefore ought not to be thrown entirely out of the scale of notice thank you very much folks and nice talking to you


Early life and education

Mangum was born in Durham County, North Carolina (then part of Orange County), to a family of the planter class. He was the son of Catherine (Davis) and William Person Mangum.[3] In his youth, he attended the respected private school in Raleigh run by John Chavis, a free black. They remained friends for years and had a long correspondence. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1815.


1844 portrait by James Lambdin
1844 portrait by James Lambdin

Mangum began a law practice and entered politics. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1823 to 1826. After an interlude as a superior court judge, he was elected by the legislature as a Democrat to the Senate from North Carolina in 1830.

Mangum's stay in the Democratic Party was short. He opposed President Andrew Jackson on most of the major issues of the day, including the protective tariff, nullification, and the Bank of the United States. In 1834, Mangum openly declared himself to be a "Whig", and two years later, he resigned his Senate seat.

Due to a lack of organizational cohesion in the new Whig Party during the 1836 election, the Whigs put forward four presidential candidates: Daniel Webster in Massachusetts, William Henry Harrison in the remaining Northern and Border States, Hugh White in the middle and lower South, and Mangum in South Carolina. Some optimistic Whigs foresaw the nomination of several candidates resulting in denying a majority of electoral votes to any one candidate and throwing the election into the House of Representatives, much like what occurred in 1824, where Whig representatives could then coalesce around a single candidate. This possibility, however, did not come to fruition and Democratic candidate Martin Van Buren won the election with an outright majority of electoral votes. The legislature of South Carolina (which chose their electors until 1865) gave Mangum its 11 electoral votes.

After a four-year absence, Mangum served two more terms in the Senate, where he was an important ally of Henry Clay. In 1842, he succeeded Samuel L. Southard as president pro tempore of the Senate, during a vice presidential vacancy. Upon assuming office on May 23, he also became next in succession to the presidency, and remained so until the swearing in of George M. Dallas on March 4, 1845, a period which included President John Tyler's narrow escape from death in the USS Princeton disaster of 1844. In 1852, he refused an offer to be a candidate for vice president on the Whig national ticket; fellow North Carolinian William Alexander Graham was nominated instead.

Realizing that he had little chance of being re-elected as the Whig Party broke up following the 1852 elections, Mangum retired in 1853 at the end of his second term. In 1856 he, like many ex-Whigs, joined the nativist American Party, but a stroke soon afterward ended his political career.

Mangum died at his family estate in Red Mountain, an unincorporated area of Durham County, on September 7, 1861. He was buried in the family cemetery on his estate.

Marriage and family

Mangum married Charity Alston Cain in 1819. They had five children. Their only son died in July 1861 at the First Battle of Bull Run, a month before his father.

His plantation was known as Walnut Hall.[4] A 1931 biography of John Chavis noted that Mangum had allowed his former teacher to be buried on his land.[5] The gravesite was found in 1988 by the John Chavis Historical Society, and is now marked as the "Old Cemetery" on maps of Hill Forest.


  1. ^ Thompson, Joseph Conan (1995). Willie Person Mangum: Politica and Pragmatism in the Age of Jackson. University of Florida, George A. Smathers Library. p. 1. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  2. ^ Which States Do Presidents Come From? (Not Minnesota, Yet)
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Willie P. Mangum House". Open Durham. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  5. ^ Shaw, G. C. John Chavis, 1763-1838, Binghamton, New York: The Vail-Ballou Press, 1931

External links

Further reading

  • Shanks, Henry. The Papers of Willie Person Mangum. Raleigh, N.C. : North Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1950-1956 (5 vols).
  • Garraty, John A. and Mark C. Carnes. American National Biography, vol. 14, "Mangum, Willie Person". New York : Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Schipke, Norman C. Mangum! Man from Red Mountain. North Charleston, South Carolina : CSI Publishing Platform, 2014.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Josiah Crudup
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 8th congressional district

Succeeded by
Daniel L. Barringer
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
James Iredell, Jr.
 U.S. Senator (Class 3) from North Carolina
Served alongside: Bedford Brown
Succeeded by
Robert Strange
Preceded by
Bedford Brown
 U.S. Senator (Class 2) from North Carolina
Served alongside: William A. Graham, William H. Haywood, Jr., George E. Badger
Succeeded by
David S. Reid
Preceded by
Samuel L. Southard
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
May 31, 1842 – March 3, 1845
Succeeded by
Ambrose Hundley Sevier
This page was last edited on 23 June 2019, at 02:48
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