Matt Ransom, Confederate General and U.S. Senator

General Matt Whitaker Ransom     Photo by Albert Barden. From the Albert Barden Collection, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC.On October 8, 1826, Matt Whitaker Ransom, Confederate general, U.S. senator and minister to Mexico, was born in Warren County.

After graduating from the UNC, Ransom studied law. He married and moved to Northampton County in 1853, where he practiced. Serving in the legislature at the outbreak of the Civil War, Ransom enlisted as a private in the Confederate Army, joining the 35th North Carolina Regiment which he eventually would command. He was wounded three times during the war and was eventually promoted to brigadier general.

After the war, Ransom became a strong supporter of reconciliation between the regions. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1872 and represented North Carolina there until 1895. A strong supporter of President Grover Cleveland, he was posted to Mexico as the “Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary” serving in that role until 1897, when he returned to Northampton County and retired from public service.

Verona, Ransom’s home, in 1954. Image from the N.C. Museum of HistoryHe died in October 1904. A bust of Ransom, commissioned by the North Carolina Historical Commission, was placed in the rotunda of the State Capitol in 1911.

Other related resources:

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day subscribe by email using the box on the right and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.