Asa Biggs

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Asa Biggs
United States Senator
from North Carolina
In office
March 4, 1855 – May 5, 1858
Preceded by George E. Badger
Succeeded by Thomas L. Clingman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 9th district
In office
March 4, 1845 – March 3, 1847
Preceded by Kenneth Rayner
Succeeded by David Outlaw
Personal details
Born (1811-02-04)February 4, 1811
Williamston, North Carolina
Died March 6, 1878(1878-03-06) (aged 67)
Norfolk, Virginia
Political party Democratic

Asa Biggs (February 4, 1811 – March 6, 1878) was a North Carolina politician who held a number of positions. He was a U.S. Representative, a U.S. Senator, and federal judge.

Biggs was born in Williamston, Martin County, North Carolina. He read law, was admitted to the bar in 1831, and commenced practice in Williamston. He was a member of the North Carolina state constitutional convention in 1835, the state house of commons from 1840 to 1842, and the state senate from 1844 to 1845.

Biggs was elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-ninth Congress and served from March 4, 1845 to March 4, 1847, but was unsuccessful in his bid for re-election in 1846. In 1851 he became a member of the commission to codify the North Carolina state laws. His role in codifying the laws of North Carolina is the most distinctive aspect of his historical importance.

He was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1855 and served from March 4, 1855 until May 5, 1858, when he resigned to accept an appointment to the United States District Court for the District of North Carolina by President James Buchanan to a seat vacated by Henry Potter. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 3, 1858, and received his commission the same day.

He served as judge of that district court until April 23, 1861, as a member of the secession convention of North Carolina in 1861, and as a Confederate judge from 1861 to 1865. He supported secession and believed the action to be legal according to the United States constitution. During the American Civil War he took refuge at Dalkeith near Arcola, North Carolina, where he wrote his autobiography.[1]

Following his service as a judge, Biggs resumed the practice of law in Tarboro, Edgecombe County, North Carolina in 1865.

In 1869 he moved to Norfolk, Virginia. He continued the practice of law in that community until his death on March 6, 1878. He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery.

The Asa Biggs House and Site at Williamston was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.[2]


  1. ^ Survey and Planning Unit Staff (October 1974). "Dalkeith" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
Historical marker, Williamston, North Carolina
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Kenneth Rayner
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 9th congressional district

Succeeded by
David Outlaw
United States Senate
Preceded by
George E. Badger
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from North Carolina
Served alongside: David S. Reid
Succeeded by
Thomas L. Clingman