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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesNorth Carolina

Zebulon Baird VANCE

(1830-1894)
Senate Years of Service:
1879-1894
Party:
Democrat

VANCE, Zebulon Baird, (nephew of Robert Brank Vance [1793-1827] and brother of Robert Brank Vance [1828-1899]), a Representative and a Senator from North Carolina; born on Reems Creek, near Asheville, Buncombe County, N.C., May 13, 1830; attended the common schools of Buncombe County, and Washington (Tenn.) College; studied law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; admitted to the bar in 1852 and commenced practice in Asheville, N.C.; elected prosecuting attorney of Buncombe County in 1852; member, State house of commons 1854; elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-fifth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Thomas L. Clingman; reelected to the Thirty-sixth Congress and served from December 7, 1858, to March 3, 1861; during the Civil War entered the Confederate Army as a captain and was promoted to the rank of colonel; elected Governor of North Carolina in 1862, and reelected in 1864; removed from office in 1865 when he was arrested and imprisoned in Washington, D.C. for Confederate activities; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in November 1870, but did not present his credentials; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for election to the United States Senate in 1872; Governor of North Carolina 1876-1878; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1879; reelected in 1884 and 1890, and served from March 4, 1879, until his death; chairman, Committee on Enrolled Bills (Forty-sixth Congress), Committee on Privileges and Elections (Fifty-third Congress); died in Washington, D.C., April 14, 1894; funeral services were held in the Chamber of the United States Senate; interment in Riverside Cemetery, Asheville, N.C.

Bibliography

American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; McKinney, Gordon B. Zeb Vance: North Carolina’s Civil War Governor and Gilded Age Political Leader. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004; Mobley, Joe A. ”War Governor of the South”: North Carolina’s Zeb Vance in the Confederacy. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2005.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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