Zebulon Baird Vance (1830-1894)
I would not expect people to necessarily know who Vance is, but he is an important figure in the history of North Carolina politics. He was a lawyer from Asheville, NC. At age 28, he was the youngest member of the House of Representatives when he was elected. He was a supporter for the Union, but only left his seat on the House once it became apparent that NC would vote to secede. After a brief period as a Confederate military officer, he was elected governor of NC in 1862. In the Confederacy Vance was a major proponent of individual rights and local self-government, often putting him at odds with the Confederate government of Jefferson Davis. For example, North Carolina was the only state to observe the writ of habeas corpus and keep its courts fully functional during the war. Also, Vance refused to allow supplies smuggled into North Carolina by blockade runners to be given to other states until North Carolinians had their share. Vance's work for the aid and morale of the people, especially in mitigating the harsh Confederate conscription practices, inspired the nickname "War Governor of the South." Vance was re-elected in 1864.
After the Civil War, Vance was arrested and then pardoned. In 1870, He was elected to the U.S. Senate, but was unable to serve since he was on federal parole. In 1876, he was again elected as governor of NC, during which time he focused on education. He was then elected to U.S. Senate in 1879, and this time serving until his death in 1894. Starting in about 1870, Vance gave a speech hundreds of times he called "The Scattered Nation," which praised the Jews and called for religious tolerance and freedom amongst all Americans.
- "The great popular heart is not now and never has been in this war. It was a revolution of the politicians, not the people." ~ in reference to the Civil War