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  Caldwell, Tod R.
NameTod R. Caldwell
Address Burke County
, North Carolina , United States
Born February 19, 1818
DiedJuly 11, 1874 (56 years)
Last ModifedChronicler
May 01, 2020 01:35pm
InfoTod Robinson Caldwell (19 February 1818 -- 11 July 1874) was a lawyer and the Republican governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina from 1871 to 1874. He was born in Morganton, North Carolina. He lived in Burke County. Caldwell attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was solicitor for Burke County.

NC House of Commons (W-Burke County) 1842-1845, 1848-1849, 1858-1859

NC State Senate (W-Burke County) 1850-1851.

Lt. Governor (R-NC) 1868-1870. Elected the first Lieutenant Governor of NC and the first of only four Republicans to serve in that post. When Gov. Holden was impeached from office for taking action to quell the Ku Klux Klan, Caldwell succeeded to the governorship (12/15/1870). The office of Lt. Governor remained vacant until 1873.

Governor (R-NC) 1870-1874. Second of six Republicans to serve as NC Governor. Re-elected in 1872 in a close race with Augustus S. Merrimon, the Conservative Party nominee. Three main issues dominated Caldwell's tenure as Governor.

The first was the rise of the Klan, which he was mostly powerless to combat. The legislature, which was controlled by the Conservative Party, repealed laws used against the Klan and restricted the Governor's ability to respond to Klan atrocities.

The second was the establishment of a sound financial footing for the state. When he became Governor, the total NC debt was just shy of $35 million. Caldwell told the legislature that the state did not have sufficient funds to pay the interest on the debt. Some portions of the debt was in the form of railroad bonds, which had increased in value and actually produced a small income for the state. He produced a plan to issue new bonds to retire old debts at 50 cents on the dollar rather than repudiate the old debts. (New York Times, 11/27/1871)

The third was the enhancement of the public school system; most public schools had closed during the Civil War and had not been re-opened. Caldwell worked to secure private financial support for public schools in order to get them in operation again. When the Superintendent of Public Instruction resigned in 1871, Caldwell appointed Alexander McIver to that post. (North Carolina Government [1979], p. 426)

Governor Caldwell died in office in Hillsboro on 7/11/1874 while attending a meeting of the stockholders of the North Carolina Railroad. (New York Times 7/12/1874, 11/28/1874)



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Date Category Headline Article Contributor

Importance? 8.00000 Average


  08/01/1872 NC Governor Won 50.49% (+0.97%)
  04/17/1872 NC Governor - R Convention Won 54.21% (+28.04%)
  12/15/1870 NC Governor - Succession Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  04/21/1868 NC Lt Governor Won 55.67% (+11.46%)
  02/26/1868 NC Lt Governor - R Convention Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/09/1865 NC - District 07 Lost 18.53% (-19.74%)
  08/01/1850 NC St Senate 48 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)