World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Augustus Summerfield Merrimon

Article Id: WHEBN0000516659
Reproduction Date:

Title: Augustus Summerfield Merrimon  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: John Pool, Matt Whitaker Ransom, Zebulon Baird Vance, North Carolina lawyers, List of United States Senators in the 45th Congress by seniority
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Augustus Summerfield Merrimon

Augustus Summerfield Merrimon
United States Senator
from North Carolina
In office
March 4, 1873 – March 4, 1879
Preceded by John Pool
Succeeded by Zebulon B. Vance
Personal details
Born (1830-09-15)September 15, 1830
Asheville, North Carolina
Died November 14, 1892(1892-11-14) (aged 62)
Raleigh, North Carolina
Political party Democratic

Augustus Summerfield Merrimon (September 15, 1830 – November 14, 1892) was a Democratic U.S. senator from the state of North Carolina between 1873 and 1879.

An attorney from Buncombe County, North Carolina, Merrimon served in the North Carolina House of Commons from 1860 to 1861. He briefly served in the Confederate Army when the American Civil War broke out, but resigned to become solicitor (prosecutor) for North Carolina's eighth judicial district. After the war, Merrimon served as a state superior court judge, then returned to the practice of law, and was an unsuccessful Democratic (at the time, officially called the Conservative Party) candidate for Governor of North Carolina in 1872. With 49.5 percent of the vote, Merrimon lost an extremely close race to incumbent Tod R. Caldwell. [2]

Merrimon was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1872. He and former Gov. Zebulon B. Vance had already become intense political enemies, though both were affiliated with the Conservative Party. After Vance won the endorsement of the Conservative Party in the legislature, the minority Republicans in the legislature voted with Merrimon's supporters to elect him to the Senate (New York Times, October 14, 1878).

During his term in the Senate, Merrimon gained a reputation as "one of the bitterest partisan Democrats in Congress" (New York Times, October 14, 1878). He was appointed to the 'South Carolina Committee,' a Congressional commission assigned to conduct hearings into voter intimidation and fraud during the 1876 elections in South Carolina—the elections which brought an end to Reconstruction and restored white supremacists to power. The only Democrat on the Committee, Merrimon badgered black and white Republican witnesses band attempted to downplay and excuse white atrocities. A full transcript of the testimony can be found in the 3 bound volumes (South Carolina in 1876) published by the 42nd Congress. After Vance was elected Governor in 1876, he began recruiting candidates to defeat Merrimon supporters in legislative races to lay the groundwork to take Merrimon's seat in the Senate. In the legislative election of 1878, the state Democrats ran two slates in many districts: one pledged to Merrimon and one pledged to Vance. The result was mixed; the Republicans gained 13 seats in the legislature, and the majority Democrats were still divided in their loyalties (Merrimon 40 to Vance 60 with 70 Republicans). The Republican legislators voted for Vance in the election in early 1879, giving him the majority.

After being defeated for re-election, Merrimon served as an Associate Justice (1883–1889) and then Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court (1889 until his death in 1892). Merrimon Avenue in Asheville is named in his memory.

His home at Raleigh, the Merrimon-Wynne House, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and again in 2014 following a move.[1][2][1]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  2. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 8/25/14 through 8/30/14. National Park Service. 2014-09-05. 

External links

  • Congressional Biography
United States Senate
Preceded by
John Pool
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from North Carolina
Served alongside: Matt W. Ransom
Succeeded by
Zebulon B. Vance
Legal offices
Preceded by
William Nathan Harrell Smith
Chief Justice of North Carolina Supreme Court
Succeeded by
James E. Shepherd
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.