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David Settle Reid

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Subject: Thomas Bragg, Governors of North Carolina, List of Governors of North Carolina, Thomas Jordan Jarvis, William B. Umstead
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David Settle Reid

David Settle Reid
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 3rd district
In office
March 4, 1843 – March 4, 1847
Preceded by William Henry Washington
Succeeded by Daniel Moreau Barringer
32nd Governor of North Carolina
In office
January 1, 1851 – December 6, 1854
Preceded by Charles Manly
Succeeded by Warren Winslow
United States Senator
from North Carolina
In office
December 6, 1854 – March 4, 1859
Preceded by Willie P. Mangum
Succeeded by Thomas Bragg
Personal details
Born (1813-04-19)April 19, 1813
Rockingham County, North Carolina
Died June 19, 1891(1891-06-19) (aged 78)
Reidsville, North Carolina
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Henrietta Settle
Relations Reuben Reid (Father)
Elizabeth Settle Reid (Mother)

David Settle Reid (April 19, 1813 – June 19, 1891) was the 32nd Governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina from 1851 to 1854 and a U.S. Senator from December 1854 to March 1859. His uncle was Congressman Thomas Settle, and his brother was Hugh Kearns Reid.

He was born in what would later be Reidsville, North Carolina, an unincorporated town named for his father, Reuben Reid. At age 16, David Reid became the first postmaster for the town. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1833. From 1835 to 1842, Reid served in the North Carolina Senate. He was a U.S. Representative from 1843 to 1847. Reid ran for governor in 1848 as a long-shot candidate. In his campaign, Reid promoted the now-obscure cause of "free suffrage," i.e. that there should not be different standards for who could vote for members of the North Carolina House of Commons and of the North Carolina Senate. This surprised his fellow Democrats; Michigan had begun electing governors by popular vote since 1836, and no Democrat had won under the new system. It was assumed that more voters would only increase the Whig domination of the state, but the Whigs denounced suffrage reform as "a system of communism unjust and Jacobinical." To everyone's surprise, Reid lost to Charles Manly by only 854 votes. In 1850, Reid defeated Manly by 2,853 votes, becoming the first elected Democratic governor of North Carolina.[1]

In the Senate, Reid was chairman of the Committee on Patents and the Patent Office. He sought but was denied a full term in the Senate when he lost a three-way internal party fight with Thomas Bragg and William W. Holden in 1858. He returned to the practice of law and was a delegate to an 1861 peace convention to try to prevent the American Civil War. Reid was a member of a state constitutional convention in 1875.

Reid died in Reidsville in 1891 and is buried in Greenview Cemetery in the same city.


  1. ^ Keyssar, Alexander (2000). The Right to Vote. New York: Basic Books. p. 41.  

External links

Governor Reid is seen in the foreground of this 1861 photo of the North Carolina State Capitol.
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
William H. Washington
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 3rd congressional district

March 4, 1843 – March 4, 1847
Succeeded by
Daniel M. Barringer
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Manly
Governor of North Carolina
Succeeded by
Warren Winslow
United States Senate
Preceded by
Willie P. Mangum
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from North Carolina
Served alongside: Asa Biggs and Thomas L. Clingman
Succeeded by
Thomas Bragg
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