Governor and Congressman Gabriel Holmes, Ally of John C. Calhoun

On September 26, 1829, Governor Gabriel Holmes died suddenly while serving a term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Born in Duplin County in 1769, Holmes studied law and later practiced in Sampson County. He served in both houses of the General Assembly, was appointed to the Council of State and served as a trustee of the University of North Carolina before being elected governor in 1821.

Holmes earned the state’s top job after a failed attempt to win election to the office the year before, and served in the post for three terms, stepping down because of a term limit in 1825. That same year, he was elected to Congress where he was closely associated with John C. Calhoun.

Throughout his career in public service, Holmes was a strong advocate for higher education, agriculture and internal improvements. He stressed the need for agricultural courses and progressive techniques in farming, lobbied for state spending on education and helped improve transportation by both land and water.

Holmes died at his home near Clinton and was buried in the family graveyard.

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