Waddell, Alfred M. (Alfred Moore), 1834-1912

Alternative names
Birth 1834-09-16
Death 1912-03-17

Biographical notes:

Alfred M. Waddell was an author, historian, lawyer, Confederate Army officer, United States Representative, 1871-1879, and mayor of Wilmington, N.C., 1898-1905.

From the description of Alfred M. Waddell papers, 1768-1935 (bulk 1875-1900). (Oceanside Free Library). WorldCat record id: 23765397

Alfred M. Waddell (1834-1912) was an lawyer, Confederate Army officer, journalist, author, orator, United States Representative, 1871-1879, and mayor of Wilmington, N.C., 1898-1905. Born in Hillsborough, N.C., Waddell attended the Bingham School and the Caldwell Institute, and later graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1853. He practiced law in Wilmington, N.C., and served in the Confederate Army as lieutenant colonel of the 3rd Cavalry, 41st North Carolina Infantry during the Civil War. Waddell served four terms as a Democrat in the United States House of Representatives from 1871 to 1879. After his reelection campaign failed in 1878, Waddell resumed his law practice in Wilmington, N.C., and engaged in various literary and historical pursuits. He served a brief stint as editor of the Charlotte Journal-Observer, 1881-1882, and was a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1880 and 1896. During the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot, Waddell led the white citizens group that forced the Republican mayor and city council to resign. After the insurrection, Waddell was installed as mayor of Wilmington, a position he held until 1905. As mayor, Waddell helped reestablished white control of the city, which ultimately led to the resurgence of the Democratic Party in the state. He died on 17 March 1912 and was interred at Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington, N.C.

Publications by Alfred M. Waddell include: A Colonial Officer and His Times, 1754-1773: A Biographical Sketch of General Hugh Waddell of North Carolina (1890), Some Memories of My Life (1908), and A History of New Hanover County and the Lower Cape Fear Region, 1723-1800 (1909).

Note adapted from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography (1996), vol. 6, edited by William S. Powell.

  • 1834: Born in Hillsborough, Orange County, N.C., 16 September 1834.
  • 1853: Graduated from the University of North Carolina.
  • 1855: Admitted to the North Carolina Bar and began legal practice in Wilmington, N.C.
  • 1856: Supported the American Party ticket.
  • 1857: Married Julia Savage.
  • 1860: Supported the Constitutional Union party ticket and attended the party's convention as a delegate from North Carolina.
  • 1858 - 1861 : Clerk of the court of equity of New Hanover County, N.C.
  • 1860 - 1861 : Owned and edited the Unionist newspaper, the Wilmington Herald.
  • 1863 - 1864 : Served as a lieutenant colonel in the 3rd Cavalry, 41st North Carolina Infantry Regiment, but resigned because of poor health.
  • 1871 - 1879 : Four terms as a Democrat in the United States House of Representatives. Waddell advocated the end of partisanship and sectionalism, and decried Radical Republican policies. In his final term, Waddell served as chair of the committee on post offices and roads.
  • 1878: Married Ellen Savage after the death of his first wife Julia Savage. Julia and Ellen were sisters.
  • 1879: Resumed law practice in Wilmington, N.C.
  • 1880; 1886: Delegate to the Democratic National Convention.
  • 1881 - 1882 : Editor, Charlotte Journal-Observer.
  • 1896: Married Gabrielle DeRosset of Wilmington, N.C.
  • 1898 - 1905 : Mayor of Wilmington, N.C. Waddell was the leader of the white citizens group during the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot and was installed as mayor in the wake of the insurrection.
  • 1912: Died, 17 March 1912, and interred in Oakdale Cemetery, Wilmington, N.C.

From the guide to the Alfred M. Waddell Papers, 1768-1935, (bulk 1875-1900), (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.)


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  • Legislators
  • Riots--History--19th century
  • Cooking--History--19th century
  • Families--Social life and customs
  • African Americans--History--19th century
  • Authors, American--19th century
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