Joseph Riddick

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Joseph Riddick (1735 - Nov. 18, 1818) was a North Carolina politician who served as Speaker of the North Carolina Senate for 11 years from 1800 to 1804 and from 1806 to 1811. Only Bartlett Yancey and Marc Basnight have led the state Senate for a longer span of time. Riddick was also a veteran of the American Revolutionary War. He attained the rank of General in the NC Militia.

He represented Gates County in the legislature over a period of 35 years, including service in the North Carolina House of Commons (1782–1784) and in the North Carolina Senate (1785–1811, 1815, 1817). He ran unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives as a Democratic-Republican in 1810 and 1813 (and also got a handful of votes, likely unsolicited, in 1815).

He was a Presidential elector for the state of NC on 2 occasions. (1809-Madison, 1817-Monroe)

Preceded by
Benjamin Smith
Speaker of the North Carolina Senate
Succeeded by
Alexander Martin
Preceded by
Alexander Martin
Speaker of the North Carolina Senate
Succeeded by
George Outlaw

His parents were Captain Joseph Riddick (1689/1759) & Hannah Hunter Riddick (1712??/1791)(daughter of Isaac & Elizabeth Hunter)
He Married Ann Stallings (__/1824)(Daughter of Simon Stallings)

Professor & Historian Isaac Samauel Harrell writes the following in "GATES COUNTY TO 1860"

Although no returns can be obtained further back than 1842, the county was in all probability anti-Federalist in the early days, for Joseph Riddick, who was in the assembly for 33 years, voted with the anti-Federalists.* He never wanted to spend any money. The county was opposed to internal improvements and to the Literary Fund.

[*]Joseph Riddick was the leading man in the county from the close of the Revolutionary War to his death. He was in the Assembly from 1781 to 1811 and again in 1815 and 1817. For eleven years he was the speaker of the Senate; was a member of the convention at Hillsboro that debated the Constitution of the United States. During its sessions he made himself distinguished on account of his common sense. He bitterly opposed the ratification by the state of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions and their defeat is largely due to him. He was also a member of the convention of 1835 for a new constitution for the state. In 1798 Governor Johnston wrote to Supreme Court Justice James Iredell, "There are some men of very good understanding in both houses. Riddick, from Gates, has more influence in the Senate; he seems generally disposed to do what is right, but will go about it in his own way." He made his trips to Raleigh in a stick-gig and never missed a session. At his old home is a grape-vine that he brought from Raleigh when he was a member of the Assembly.

The following court record is stating that he was to be a commissioner to establish the county boundary line between Gates & Perquimans.

Gates & Perquimans County, NC - Act to Establish Dividing Line

An Act to appoint commissioners to lay off and establish the dividing line between the counties of Perquimans and Gates

Whereas, the dividing line between the counties of Perquimans and Gates have not heretofore been sufficiently described, either by actual surveys, or by known and fixed boundaries, whereby it becomes expedient in order to prevent disputes between the inhabitants of said counties, that the said dividing line should be more accurately ascertained and laid off.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That Willis Riddick and Langley Billups, of the county of Perquimans, and Joseph Gordon and Joseph Riddick of the county of Gates, be, and they are hereby appointed commissioners with full power and authority to lay off, extend and mark the line between the said counties, due regard being had to the former reputed line.

And be it further enacted, That the said Commissioners shall appoint such surveyor, chain carrier and other attendance as shall be necessary for the marking, extending and establishing the said line, and shall make or cause to be made a return of their proceedings to each of the Courts of Pleas and Quarter Sessions of the said counties, to be deposited and kept among the records thereof, and the said lines when so extended, and laid off, shall forever thereafter be established, and confirmed as the dividing line between the said counties.

And be it further enacted, That the said commissioners, surveyors, chain carriers and attendants, shall receive such compensation for their services as the Courts of Pleas and Quarter Sessions of the said counties shall deem just, to be paid out of the monies levied and collected for the said counties. Source: NC Archives Public and Private Laws of North Carolina 1819-22 Chapter CVIII Page 73