Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Gubernatorial Goldmine

Posted March 28, 2007

Can you name the North Carolina governor who grew up in a house on the site of Lowe's Motor Speedway?

Did you know only one Wake County native ever served as governor? Hint: a high school is named for him.

These are just two of the many interesting facts gleaned from a new book edited by Michael Hill for the NC Office of Archives and History. The Governors of North Carolina offers biographical sketches, pictures and signatures of the Tar Heel chief executives from the Roanoke Colonies to Michael Easley.

Here are a few more questions:

Can you name the NC governor who was taken prisoner shortly after taking office in 1781?

Can you name the Morganton governor who strongly opposed secession prior to the Civil War?

What former chief executive was nicknamed "Governor for Life?"

What Roman Catholic governor grew up on a 60 acre tobacco farm?

I will post the answers later today and if you like I'll toss out a few more questions tomorrow.


Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • spamthissucka Mar 31, 2007

    Yes, these were very tough, but it is still interesting to know the answers.

  • urbudelar Mar 28, 2007

    Correct on Broughton - the only Wake County native to serve as governor. Burke was taken into custody by Loyalists shortly after assuming office in 1781. Tod Robinson Caldwell of Morganton was not governor before the Civil War but strongly opposed secession as a lawyer in Morganton. Caldwell became governor in 1871. There used to be a Caldwell Hotel in Morganton with fine Sunday dining. I assume that was part of his family's real estate.

    The so-called "Governor for Life" was Jim Hunt who served four terms.

    Mike Easley is the current governor and Roman Catholic who grew up on a 60 acre tobacco farm.

  • simracer68 Mar 28, 2007

    Wake County Gov: J. Melville Broughton
    Thomas Burke supposedly took office in 1781 (don't know about his arrest)
    David Settle Reid opposed the Civil War, but was from Reidsville, not Morganton. ??

  • Ashen-Shugar Mar 28, 2007

    I agree. It was difficult even trying to look up the answers on that one.

  • urbudelar Mar 28, 2007

    I guess these must be pretty difficult. According to the new mentioned in the blog Nathaniel Alexander lived near Harrisburg "in a house on the present site of Lowes Motor Speedway." Alexander, a surgeon in the Revolutionary War,was governor from 1805 to 1807.

Meet the Author
Bill Leslie