Curtis Hooks Brogden

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Curtis Hooks Brogden
42nd Governor of North Carolina
In office
July 11, 1874 – January 1, 1877
Preceded by Tod R. Caldwell
Succeeded by Zebulon Baird Vance
2nd Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina
In office
1873 – July 1874
Governor Tod R. Caldwell
Preceded by Tod R. Caldwell
Succeeded by Thomas J. Jarvis
Personal details
Born Curtis Hooks Brogden
November 6, 1816
Wayne County, North Carolina
Died January 5, 1901
Goldsboro, North Carolina
Political party Democrat, Republican (after 1867)
Spouse(s) none
Residence Goldsboro, North Carolina
Profession Farmer, Politician
Religion Quaker
Military service
Service/branch North Carolina State Militia
Years of service 1834 -
Rank major general

Curtis Hooks Brogden (November 6, 1816 – January 5, 1901) was the 42nd Governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina from 1874 to 1877. He succeeded to the position after the death of Governor Tod R. Caldwell, after having been elected as lieutenant governor representing the Republican Party.

Early life and education[edit]

He was born in the Brogden family home ten miles southwest of Goldsboro, North Carolina, the son of a farmer. As with most North Carolina farm boys of his time, his opportunity for formal education was limited, but Brogden diligently supplemented what he learned in the common schools with personal study.

Military Service[edit]

His father, Pierce Brogden, was a veteran of the War of 1812, and his grandfather, Thomas Brogden, served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Brogden continued the family tradition of military service and joined the North Carolina state militia at the age of 18. He was elected Captain at his second muster, and eventually rose to the rank of major general.

Political career[edit]

First elected to the North Carolina House of Commons in 1838 as a Jacksonian Democrat he was its youngest member at age 22. He became known as the "Eloquent Plowboy from Wayne" and served in the House until 1851. In 1838, he was also elected Wayne County Justice of the Peace, a position he held for 20 consecutive years.

In 1852, Brogden rose to the North Carolina Senate, where he served until 1857. He was appointed as North Carolina Comptroller by the General Assembly, a post he held for ten years, continuing in office through the crises of secession, Civil War, and Emancipation.

Support of Negro Suffrage

After the Civil War, Radical Republicans in Congress were not content with President Johnson's moderate approach for reconstruction. When President Johnson could no longer restrain them, they destroyed the autonomy of the states' governments, supplanting them with military rule through the Military Reconstruction Act which also stipulated that the seceding States must include Negro male suffrage in their new constitutions. These measures were opposed by most whites in the south. Among those who supported these measures, however was Mr. Brogden.

Brogden briefly left the Senate in 1867 after being elected on that issue to represent Wayne County at a state constitutional convention. He became affiliated with the Republican Party, and in 1868 was elected to the State Senate as a Republican. He also was a member of the Electoral College supporting Republican, Ulysses S. Grant.

After returning to the North Carolina Senate in 1868 Brogden served for four more years. In 1872 he was elected the second lieutenant governor on the Republican ticket with Tod R. Caldwell. When Gov. Caldwell died in office in 1874, Brogden succeeded to the position of governor. During his term in office, Brogden worked diligently to re-open the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he had been an appointed trustee from 1869 to 1872. Brogden also called for the establishment of a black college, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and a state penitentiary.

While still Governor, Brogden was elected in 1876 as a Republican to the United States House of Representatives from North Carolina's 2nd congressional district. He served only one term and was not re-nonimated in 1878. Two years later he attempted to regain his seat in Congress running as an independent but was not elected.

After leaving Congress, he essentially retired from public life (with the exception of a single term, in 1887, representing Wayne County in the North Carolina House of Representatives). By then one of the largest landowners in Wayne County, Brogden devoted himself to farming.

Brogden died in his hometown of Goldsboro in 1901 and is buried there.


Political offices
Preceded by
Tod R. Caldwell
Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina
Succeeded by
Thomas J. Jarvis
Preceded by
Tod R. Caldwell
Governor of North Carolina
July 11, 1874–January 1, 1877
Succeeded by
Zebulon B. Vance