GASTON, William



GASTON, William, a Representative from North Carolina; born in New Bern, N.C., September 19, 1778; entered Georgetown College, Washington, D.C., at the age of thirteen; later returned to his native State and became a student in the Academy of New Bern; was graduated from Princeton College in 1796; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1798 and commenced practice in New Bern; member of the State senate in 1800; served in the State house of representatives 1807-1809, and as speaker in 1808; again a member of the State senate in 1812, 1818, and 1819; elected as a Federalist to the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Congresses (March 4, 1813-March 3, 1817); was not a candidate for renomination in 1816; again served in the State house of representatives in 1824, 1827, 1828, 1829, and 1831; appointed judge of the supreme court of North Carolina in 1833, holding the position until his death; member of the State constitutional convention in 1835; declined a nomination for election to the United States Senate in 1840; died in Raleigh, N.C., January 23, 1844; interment in Cedar Grove Cemetery, New Bern, N.C.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

University of North Carolina
Southern Historical Collection

Chapel Hill, NC
Papers: ca. 1744-1950, 4 linear feet. The papers of William Gaston include personal, business, and political correspondence, 1791-1844; law notes and other papers; notes, 1896-1915, of Judge Henry Groves Connor for his proposed biography of Gaston; and pictures. Topics include the Catholic Church in America; banks and banking; family life; national elections; preparations for war with France in 1800 and subsequent negotiations with France; financial affairs of the United States; anticipated effects upon the United States of the ending of the Napoleonic wars; Federalist Party strategies; legal matters concerning the outbreak of the War of 1812; the nullification controversy; proposals for the appropriation of public lands for the support of public education; internal improvements; life in West Florida in the 1830s; and an 1832 speech in Chapel Hill, N.C., in which Gaston condemned both the nullification scheme and the institution of slavery. Major correspondents include George E. Badger, John Fanning Burgwyn, Thomas Pollock Devereux, Robert Donaldson, Alexander Hamilton, Francis Joseph Kron, Willie Person Mangum, Matthias Manly, John Marshall, Thomas Ruffin, Marcus Cicero Stephens, David Lowry Swain, Roger B. Taney, and Daniel Webster. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.

Dartmouth College
Rauner Special Collections Library

Hanover, NH
Papers: 1830, 2 pages. A letter from William Gaston to Daniel Webster written on March 12, 1830. In the letter, Gaston comments on the effects of Webster's speeches in the Senate, and how John C. Calhoun has shaken his faith in human integrity.

The Huntington Library

San Marino, CA
Papers: In the Ogden Edwards Papers, 1753-1876, 45 pieces and 1 box. Correspondents include William Gaston.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: In the Willie Person Mangum, 1771-1906, approximately 5,000 items. Correspondents include William Gaston.

New England Historic Genealogical Society

Boston, MA
Papers: In the Daniel Webster Papers, 1813-1852, 17 items. Correspondents include William Gaston.

New-York Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: May 3, 1824; December 14, 1835; March 3, 1842. 3 letters. Finding aid in repository.

New York University Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library

New York, NY
Papers: In the Administrative Records of the Chancellor Office, 1827-1890, 7 linear feet. Correspondents include William Gaston.

North Carolina State Department of Archives and History

Raleigh, NC
Papers: 1802-1841, 1921, 1935. 21 items. Includes letters, tax receipts, and family history. Finding aid in repository.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Gaston, William. An address delivered before the American Whig and Cliosophic Societies of the College of New-Jersey, September 29, 1835. Princeton, N.J.: R.E. Hornor, 1835.

------. Address delivered before the Dialetic and Philanthropic Societies. Chapel Hill: J. M. Henderson, 1858.

------. Mr. Gaston's address, delivered before the Philanthropic and Dialectic Societies at Chapel-Hill, on the 20th of June, 1832. [N.p., 1832?]

------. Speech of the Hon. Wm. Gaston in support of the proposition of Mr. Stanford to expunge from the rules of the House of Representatives the "previous question." Georgetown, D.C.: James B. Carter, 1816.

------. Speech of Hon. William Gaston of North Carolina, on the bill to authorise a loan of twenty-five millions of dollars. Delivered in the House of Representatives, February 1814. Georgetown: Printed by Robert Alleson, 1814.

------. Speech of the Hon. William Gaston, of North Carolina, on the bill to authorise a loan of twenty-five millions of dollars. Washington City: Printed at the office of the Senator, [1814].

Schauinger, Joseph Herman.. "William Gaston and the Supreme Court of North Carolina." North Carolina Historical Review 21 (April 1944): 97-117.

------. William Gaston, Carolinian. Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing, 1949.

------. William Gaston of North Carolina, Statesman and Jurist. Washington: N.p., 1939.

Strange, Robert. Life and character of Hon. Wm. Gaston. A eulogy, delivered by appointment of the officers and members of the Fayetteville Bar, on Monday, November 11, 1844. Fayetteville, [N.C.]: Printed by E.J. Hale, 1844.

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