This is a good article. Click here for more information.

Needham B. Broughton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Needham B. Broughton
Needham Bryant Broughton.jpg
Broughton circa. 1880-1900
Member of the North Carolina Senate
from the Wake County district
In office
Personal details
Needham Bryant Broughton

February 14, 1848
Near Auburn, North Carolina, United States
DiedMay 26, 1914(1914-05-26) (aged 66)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Resting placeHistoric Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
Political partyDemocratic Party
Spouse(s)Caroline R. Lougee
MotherMary Bagwell
FatherJoseph Broughton

Needham Bryant Broughton (February 14, 1848 – May 26, 1914) was an American printer, temperance activist, and politician who served as a North Carolina state senator from 1901 to 1903. He co-owned a prosperous printing business, Edwards & Broughton, and was a member of several commercial organizations. An active member in the North Carolina Baptist community, he served as secretary of the Southern Baptist Convention for approximately 30 years. Broughton was born in 1848 near Auburn, North Carolina. Eight years later his family moved to Raleigh, and he enrolled in public school. After several years of work in printing offices which saw him employed in Washington D.C. and New York City, Broughton returned to Raleigh and married. In 1872 he and C.B. Edwards established the Edwards & Broughton Printing Company. It quickly became one of the largest printers in North Carolina, and for a time it did most of the printing and binding of state publications.

Broughton was a devout Baptist who acted as a lay preacher, deacon, Sunday school superintendent, and secretary of the Southern Baptist Convention for about 30 years. Inspired by his religious convictions, he ardently campaigned for temperance and the prohibition of alcohol in North Carolina. He served one term in the North Carolina State Senate for the Democratic Party to prevent the seat from being filled by an anti-prohibition candidate. Broughton also supported public education, securing tax increases to fund Raleigh's schools and serving on the boards of trustees for several state institutions. He fell ill in 1913 and was forced to retire, dying the following year in a hospital in Philadelphia. Needham B. Broughton High School in Raleigh was named in his honor.

Early life and printing career[edit]

Needham Broughton was born on February 14, 1848 on a farm near Auburn, North Carolina, to Joseph Broughton and Mary Bagwell.[1] His paternal grandfather was an English immigrant.[2] Joseph Broughton died in 1854,[1] leaving Bagwell to care for Needham, his three brothers, and his three sisters by herself.[3] In 1856, Broughton moved to Raleigh, North Carolina,[1] with his family and studied in public schools for five years.[3]

When Broughton was 13 years old he was hired by editor John W. Syme to work in The Raleigh Register's printing office. When the publication was suspended in 1864, he was subsequently hired by John L. Pennington to perform similar work for the Daily Progress.[4] Upon the conclusion of the Civil War in 1865, Broughton traveled to Richmond, Virginia, to find employment. He worked for the Richmond Examiner for six months before moving to Washington, D. C. to work for the Congressional Record. Quitting after the close of Congress' 1867 session, in August he left for Baltimore. After a brief stay there and in Philadelphia, he settled in New York City. Broughton struggled to obtain employment for two weeks, and spent one day working on the New York World.[3] He then set type for the New York Herald for over three months.[1][3]

Broughton returned to Raleigh in February 1869.[3] In May he married Caroline R. Lougee.[5] They had six children.[1] In 1872 Broughton and C. B. Edwards[a] purchased the office of the defunct Raleigh Standard on credit[3] and established the Edwards & Broughton Printing Company on September 2.[6] It quickly became one of the largest printers in North Carolina, and between 1887 and 1894 it did most of the printing and binding of state publications.[4] By 1913 Edwards & Broughton employed nearly 100 persons and had expanded to offer engraving services. Edwards retired in 1910 and Broughton subsequently became president of their printing firm.[7]

As the enterprise printed labor union and Farmers' Alliance publications, Broughton joined the Knights of Labor and the Alliance.[8] On October 20, 1903 he was elected president of the North Carolina Master Printers' Association.[9] Broughton was also a member of the North Carolina Merchants Association and the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce.[10] For a time he owned The Biblical Recorder[4] and held stock in the News and Observer Publishing Company.[11] He occasionally contributed writings to the Recorder and to Raleigh's two daily newspapers.[1]

Religious activities[edit]

"Broughton was a very ardent Christian, and whenever there was a religious revival going on, all business had to take second place. One week Mr. Broughton left his business and went to Greensboro to take an active part in a revival being held by a Quaker woman evangelist."

Josephus Daniels, politician and friend of Broughton[12]

Broughton was Baptized as a Baptist in 1868.[13] He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Raleigh. In 1874 he and J.S. Allen led several other parishioners in organizing a new congregation and purchasing a church on Swain Street, which they subsequently named Second Baptist Church. Within two years the congregation decided that a larger building was needed, so land was purchased at the corner of Hargett and Person Streets and the Tabernacle Baptist Church was established.[14] Broughton was made a deacon and appointed superintendent of its Sunday school. In the late 1890s he was made vice-president of the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and a member of the executive committee of the International Sunday School Association. He held all three positions until 1913.[4] In those capacities he attended numerous international Sunday school conferences, including a world convention in Rome. He also served as secretary of the SBC for approximately 30 years[15] and acted as a lay preacher.[16]

Involvement in public affairs[edit]

Broughton staunchly supported public education[4] and was an avid supporter of the Chautauqua movement.[17] He served as the first chairman of the board of Raleigh's public schools.[18] In the 1888 he successfully lobbied for a property tax increase to save the city's schools from bankruptcy.[4] Broughton also pressed for Meredith College and the North Carolina Agricultural and Mechanic College to be located in Raleigh. He served as a trustee of both schools, as well as of Wake Forest College, the Oxford Orphan Asylum, and the State School for the Deaf, Dumb and the Blind,[4] and was a member of National Religious Training School and Chautauqua for the Colored Race's advisory board.[19]

Broughton circa. 1910

Due to his religious beliefs, Broughton was a member of the temperance movement and a strong supporter of the prohibition of the sale and consumption of alcohol.[4][20] For five years he was Grand Chief Templar of the North Carolina Order of Good Templars.[21] In 1887 he convinced African Methodist Episcopal Zion bishop James Walker Hood to appeal to blacks to support a Raleigh referendum banning alcohol. Nevertheless, the electorate rejected the proposed restriction.[22] Broughton was elected president of the North Carolina Anti-Saloon League in 1902.[23] The following year he appealed to Raleigh's black leaders to join whites in a campaign against "Sin and Satan" and improve the morality of their race, chiefly by supporting temperance. He told Charles Norfleet Hunter, a prominent black educator, that by rejecting alcohol, black voters could prove themselves to be responsible citizens, despite their disenfranchisement. Having been persuaded by Broughton, Hunter appealed to blacks to vote to remove saloons from Raleigh. A local referendum to ban the establishments succeeded, with most black voters' support.[24] Broughton's wider advocacy was also ultimately successful; in 1908 a statewide referendum approved a ban of the sale of alcohol, though the residents of Wake County had voted against it. However, the state lost revenue generated by liquor taxes, temporarily jeopardizing the funding of public education.[23] Despite collaborating with blacks on temperance, Broughton supported white supremacy.[25] In 1870 he suggested that the Raleigh Typographical Union modify its rules to prevent black men from joining it.[26]

In 1889 Broughton was appointed by the governor to the North Carolina Board of Agriculture. He served as chairman of its finance committee.[27][28] Broughton ran on the Democratic Party's ticket in 1896 in the Wake County constituency for a seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives. He was defeated by incumbent James H. Young by a slim margin.[29][30][b] In June 1900 he was nominated by the Democratic Party in a Wake County convention to the Wake County seat for the North Carolina Senate on the fourth ballot.[31] He accepted the nomination to prevent it from being taken by an anti-prohibition candidate.[4] His decision was made at the behest of fellow temperance supporter Josephus Daniels, who disliked the local Democratic political machine's pro-alcohol stance. Broughton's candidacy outraged the machine members, who, mindful of his popularity among white Christians, felt the issue of prohibition would divide their electoral support after the Democratic Party had only recently regained control of the state government. Daniels reached a compromise with the machine's leaders, whereby they would support Broughton if Daniels did not try to pass a prohibition bill through the legislature. Broughton was thus elected to the office,[32] serving from 1901 until 1903.[33] He did not seek reelection.[4]

Death and legacy[edit]

Broughton fell ill in 1913 and retired from public life. He died on May 26, 1914 in a hospital in Philadelphia, survived by his wife and children.[4] He was buried in the Historic Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh.[33] Years after Broughton's death, C. B. Edwards sent a letter to the Raleigh Public School Board, requesting that the new high school in Raleigh—then without a name—be named for Broughton in honor of his service to public education in the city. The dedication ceremony for Needham B. Broughton High School took place in 1930, towards the end of the school year.[34] His daughter, Carrie Broughton, became the first woman in North Carolina to hold statewide office as state librarian.[35] His nephew, J. Melville Broughton, served as Governor of North Carolina.[4] Alcohol remained prohibited in North Carolina until 1935.[23]


  1. ^ The two had met while working in the office of the Daily Progress.[4]
  2. ^ According to Haley, Broughton was defeated by two votes.[29] Craig put the margin at 10 votes.[30]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Amis 1913, p. 181.
  2. ^ Amis 1913, p. 182.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Dowd 1888, p. 281.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Newell, Charles A. (1979). "Broughton, Needham Bryant". NCpedia. North Carolina Government & Heritage Library. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
  5. ^ Dowd 1888, p. 282.
  6. ^ "Mr. Edwards Leaves". The Raleigh Times. April 30, 1910. p. 2. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  7. ^ Amis 1913, pp. 127, 181.
  8. ^ Beckel 2010, pp. 118, 139.
  9. ^ "Officers of the North Carolina Master Printers' Association". American Printer and Lithographer. 37. New York: Oswald Publishing Company. 1903. p. 330.
  10. ^ "Big Southern Firm". The American Stationer. 68. September 3, 1910. p. 32.
  11. ^ Craig 2013, pp. 139–140.
  12. ^ Daniels 2012, Chapter XI : The Opening Guns in the War on the University.
  13. ^ "N. B. Broughton". The Charlotte Observer. November 10, 1878. p. 3. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  14. ^ Amis 1913, p. 101.
  15. ^ Amis 1913, pp. 182–183.
  16. ^ Annual Report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the State of North Carolina 1894, p. 124.
  17. ^ Williams 1901, p. 196.
  18. ^ Ranii, David (November 17, 2002). "Former North Carolina Commerce Recruitment Chief, Thomas Broughton, Dies". Knight Ridder Tribune Business News. p. 1.
  19. ^ Davis 2013, p. 7.
  20. ^ Amis 1913, p. 183.
  21. ^ Amis 1887, p. 146.
  22. ^ Beckel 2010, p. 105.
  23. ^ a b c Johnson 2009, p. 42.
  24. ^ Haley 2014, pp. 149–150.
  25. ^ Gilmore 1992, p. 58.
  26. ^ Beckel 2010, p. 78.
  27. ^ 1st Annual Catalogue of the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts 1890, p. 2.
  28. ^ 7th Annual Catalogue of the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts 1896, p. 2.
  29. ^ a b Haley 2014, p. 93.
  30. ^ a b Craig 2013, p. 173.
  31. ^ "Mr. Broughton Nominated For State Senator". The News and Observer. 10 June 1900. p. 13. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  32. ^ Craig 2013, pp. 198–199.
  33. ^ a b Miller & Simonton 2017, p. 77.
  34. ^ Barbee 1943, p. 67.
  35. ^ Souter & Weichel 2013, p. 24.