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Gov. Daniel L. Russell

Daniel Lindsay Russell, Jr. (August 7, 1845 – May 14, 1908) was the Republican governor of North Carolina from 1897 to 1901.

Born on Winnabow Plantation in Brunswick County near Wilmington, North Carolina, he received his early education from private teachers and attended the Bingham School in Orange County, North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but left upon the outbreak of the American Civil War. He served as a captain in the Confederate Army.

Russell was a member of the North Carolina House of Commons from 1864 to 1866. During that time, he studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1866, setting up practice in Wilmington. In 1868, he became a Superior Court judge in the 4th judicial circuit, a post he held until 1874. In 1871 he was a delegate to a state constitutional convention, and in 1876, was elected again to the North Carolina House of Representatives and was a delegate to the 1876 Republican National Convention.

On November 5, 1878, Russell was elected to the 46th United States Congress, running on the Republican and Greenback tickets; he defeated incumbent Alfred M. Waddell by 11,611 votes to 10,730.[1] Russell served one term (March 4, 1879 - March 4, 1881) and did not stand for renomination.

In the mid-1890s, the new Populist Party allied with the Republican Party in North Carolina; the alliance ran "Fusion" candidates for many offices. In 1896, however, the two parties held separate state conventions in order to allow the Populists to nominate Presidential Electors pledged to William J. Bryan. At the Republican state convention in Raleigh on May 16, 1896, Russell was nominated for Governor on the seventh ballot over former U.S. Representative Oliver H. Dockery. Dockery, disgruntled, convinced the Populists to run a separate statewide slate of candidates against the Republicans, with Dockery as the Populist nominee for Lieutenant Governor.

On November 3, 1896, Russell was elected Governor of North Carolina. He won with 153,787 votes (46.5%) to 145,266 votes for Democrat Cyrus B. Watson, 31,143 for Populist William A. Guthrie, and 809 for others.[2] Russell was the first Republican governor of North Carolina since the end of Reconstruction and the last until 1973. He served one four-year term. He afterwards resumed the practice of law and also engaged in agricultural pursuits. Russell died on Belville plantation, near Wilmington, in 1908 and was interred in the family burying ground, in Onslow County, North Carolina.


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Political offices
Preceded by
Elias Carr
Governor of North Carolina
Succeeded by
Charles Brantley Aycock

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