Benjamin Franklin GradySubmitted by: Ann Hamby
Book by B. F. Grady: THE SOUTH'S BURDEN; or The Curse of Sectionalism in the United States, published by Nash Bros., Printers and Binders, Goldsboro, N.C. 1906 (Author of "The Case of the South Against the North." p. vii "Biographical Sketch of the Author." I was born in Duplin County, North Carolina, on the 10th of October, 1831, my great-great grandfather having come over from Ireland in 1739. By intermarriages his blood in my veins is mingled with that of the Whitfields, the Bryans and the Sloans. The John Grady who was killed at the battle of Moore's Creek Bridge was his son. My father, Alexander Outlaw Grady, owned, first and last, twenty five or thirty slaves; and, during my childhood the little negroes were my play mates. As I grew up I hunted and fished with the negro boys, and worked with them in the fields and woods except during about three months each winter when I attended the "old field schools". As I approached manhood my father and his neighbors employed a classical scholar to teach their children ten months in each year; and in 1851 I became a pupil of Rev. James M. Sprunt, a Scotchman, who taught in the Grove Academy at Kenansville. In September, 1853, I entered the University of North Carolina, where I received the degree of A. B. in June, 1857. Then I returned to Kenansville and taught two years with my old Master, at the end of which period I was chosen Professor of Mathematics and the Natural Sciences in Austin College, then located at Huntsville, Texas. There I began work in the summer of 1859, and taught till the war caused the Institution to suspend operations. Soon afterwards typhoid fever prostrated me, and unfitted me for military service till May, 1862. Then I enlisted in a Cavalry Company, which became K of the 25th Regiment; but in a few months Gen. Hindman dismounted us, and we served on foot till the close of the war. On Jan. 11, 1863, we were captured at Arkansas Post - about 3,000 of us and 45,000 of the enemy, with 13 gun-boats - and carried to Camp Butler, near Springfield, Illinois. Having been exchanged about the middle of April, 1863, we were sent to Bragg's army, which was then at Tullahoma, Tenn., and in this army we served until the war ended. On the morning of the battle of Bentonville I went to Peace Institute Hospital in Raleigh, where typhoid fever kept me till May 2, 1865. After the war I taught school, farmed, served as a Justice of the Peace, and was County Superintendent of Schools, in Sampson and Duplin Counties till 1891. From that year till 1895 I served as a Representative in Congress; and after that I returned to farming. But during the last four years I have been in Clinton teaching and pursuing literary work. B. F. Grady. Clinton, N. C., May, 1906" THE NEWS DISPATCH, Clinton, NC, Obituaries, Vol. 2, 1912 & 1914, Compiled by Barry Munson, North Carolina Collection, Joyner Library, East Carolina University Thursday, March 12, 1914 - Hon. B. F. Grady Passes. The death of Hon. B. F. Grady, last Friday afternoon at the home of his son, Mr. J. B. Grady on DeVane street was a shock to the people of Clinton. Mr. Grady was downtown Friday morning talking with friends and seemed to be in good health, but after he returned to his home, he complained of some trouble of his heart and went upstairs to his room to rest, and continued to grow worse till the end came 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Deceased was a Confederate soldier, serving through the entire Civil War. It can be truthfully said that he never lost any of the love he had for the flag he followed those four long years. Mr. Grady was highly educated and was, perhaps, one of the best historians in Eastern North Carolina. School teaching was principally his life's work. He filled the chair of mathematics in Sam Houston College, Texas, from which position he resigned to enter the Confederate army. After the war he came back to North Carolina and resumed teaching. He served as Supt. , of Public Instruction of Duplin county for about twn years. In 1890, he was elected to Congress and represented this, the third district, in the fifty-second and fifty-third Congress. Deceased was 82 years of age and was a member of the Presbyterian Church, from which the funeral was conducted last Sunday at 11 o'clock by his paster, Rev. James Thomas, assisted by Rev. Peter McIntire, of Faison. The remains were laid to rest in the Clinton cemetery by the side of his wife, who proceded him to the grave about eight years ago. The grave was covered in a profusion of beautiful flowers, placed there by tender and loving hands. Alumni History of the University of NC, 1795-1924, published 1924, Durham, NC, p. 226 GRADY, Benjamin Franklin Planter, Duplin Co.; b. Oct. 10, 1831; d. Mar. 6, 1914; m. Olivia P. Hamilton, June 29, 1861; m. Mary Charlotte Bizzell, Nov. 3, 1870; A.B. 1857; prof. math. and nat. science, Austin col., Huntersville, Tex., 1859-61; mem. congr. 1891-95; sergt. C. S. A.; duplin co. supt. of pub. instr., teacher Turkey and Clinton; trustee, U. N. C. 1874-91. NC Collection Clipping File through 1975, UNC Library, Chapel Hill (1958) Grady, Benjamin Franklin, 1831-1914 OLD LETTERS, From the Collection of Claude Moore The following letters were loaned to the writer by Mrs. Florence Herring Grady. they were written by the late B. F. Grady, for years the principal of the Clinton Male Academy. Mr. Grady migrated to Texas after he graduated from the University of N. C. in 1857. On June 11, 1856, Mr. Grady wrote his father from Chapel Hill, " I am engaged, being one of the editors of the university Magazine, in preparing a historical sketch of Revolutionary occurrences in the eastern part of North Carolina, particularly of Craig's march and Gov. Swain has loaned me one of Gov. Burke's Letter Books, in which I find many interesting reports. I can trace Craig from Wilmington to Rockfish Creek, where he surpirsed Col. Kenan, who commanded a considerable force; then I can follow him along Burncoat road to Webber's Bridge on Trent River, where Lillington or Wm Caswell - I forget which; but I think it was Lillington - prevented his crossing; then I can follow him to Newbern; then up Neuse River to Bryan's Mills where he routed an opposing body of troops, and burned the houses of Bryan, Heritage, and two Coxes, then to Kingston, or its neighborhood; after which I cannot follow him. Gordon, the tory, was killed at Webber's Bridge; and among other interesting reports, it is frequently mentioned that Craig before coming to Rockfish, was going towards the rich lands of New River, or was in that neighborhood. All this time, Gen. Richard Caswell was on the Roanoke, watching Cornwallis, while his son, Col. Richard Caswell, was doing mischief among the tories on the south side of Neuse, Between Smithfield and Kinston....At our Commencement I had the pleasure of being introduced to Messrs. Thomas I. Faison and Almand McKoy of Sampson, and to your friend George S. Stevenson. Matt W. Ranson delivered a splendid spech on the necessity of preserving the Unon. He is only 19 years old." In writing to his father on Aug. 29, 1860, Mr. Grady says, "Breckenridge is all the go here. I feel some anxiety in regard to N. C. if Douglas's friends poll a respectable vote. Bell will, of course, get the state . . . Any man who says a citizen of the U. S. is not bound by the Constitution or the laws of Congress is very very much mistaken if he thinks he is a patriot. "On Nov. 3, 1960, he writes, "we are in great dread of Lincoln's election. New York has cheered us a little, but the Union is a humbug. I have held to Unionism as long as I could, and even now, I am opposed to secession." On Feb. 23, 1861, Mr. Grady was writing to his sister, "We vote today on secession - Texas will vote 4 to 1, I expect, in favor of it. I shall vote for the measure because I think the sooner we cut loose from the benighted Yankees, the better; but it is a sad thing to dissolve the Union." B. F. Grady was a Professor of the Natural Sciences, in Austin College, Huntsville, Texas. When the college was suspended on account of war, he enlisted Co. K. of the 28th Texas Regiment. On Jan. 11, 1863, his whole command of 5,000 was captured and sent to Camp Butler, Springfield, Illinois, for three months. In writing of this battle, he says "Our loss was 63 killed. The enemys loss was 2000 or 3,000. Their force was 60,000 and 13 gun boats . . . we were 20 days of the Mississippi River and some men froze to death on the boat . . .the 58th Illnois guarded us . . . . a dirty, rascally set of low Irish and Germans." In 1898, Mr. Grady wrote a very scholarly book entitled, "The Case of the South Against the North", in which he summarized his war years and the years following the war. "Exchanged about the middle of April, I was sent to General Bragg's army at Tullahome, Tenn. in which I served till the close of the war in Granbury's Brigade, Cleburne's Division, Hardee's Corps, participating in all the skirmishes and battles (except at Nashville and at Bentonville) in which my Brigade was engaged. I was twice wounded - in my face and through my right hand - in the charge on the enemy's main line of breastworks, November 30, 1864, at Franklin, Tenn., and not many yards from where Cleburne and Granbury fell. I had been in what appeared to be more dangerous places, as at Chickamauga, September 19 and 20, 1863; at Missionary Ridge, where Cleburne's Division defeated Sherman's flanking colun while Bragg's main army was being routed by Grant, Noverber 25, 1863; at Ringgold, where Cleburne's division repelled the repeated assaults of the troops of Sherman and Hooker from daylight til 2 o'clock in the evening, thus enabling the wagons, artillery, etc., of our army to get out of the reach of these invaders, November 27, 1863; at New Hope church, where Granbury's Brigade, assisted by one of General Govan's Arkansas regiments, defeated and drove off the ground Howar's fourth Army Corps, which was attempting to flank Joe Johnson on his right, May 27, 1864; at Atlanta, where a prolonged seige exposed us to danger day and night, etc., etc. But I had never received a scratch before. After Hood's disastrous campaign in Tennessee we went to the northern part of Mississippi, from there by railway to Mobile, from there by water and railroad to Montgomery, and from there, partly on foot and partly on the few pieces of railroad which Sherman's vandals had not destroyed, we came to North Carolina to assist in repelling Sherman. On the 19th of March, 1865, while the cannon were booming at Bentonville, and my command preparing to leave the railroad for the scene of action, I was sent by our surgeons back to Peace Institute Hospital in Raleigh, where typhoid fever kept me till May 2. Without money, without decent clothing, and suffering from the effects of the fever, I went to my father's, and obtaining employment in the neighborhood at my chosen profession. I waited on him in his last sickness and saw him 1867, having survived the war and die of a broken heart in the year 1867, having survived the war and lived to se the black shadow of "reconstruction" and government by the ex-slaves hovering over his beloved Southland. I remained in North Carolina, teaching until 1875, most of the time in Clinton, Sampson County. Then my health failing, for lack of sufficient exercise, I abandoned teaching, and went to farming. On the farm my life was not eventful, indeed I had no opportunity to distinguish myself a a farmer. I was appointed a Justice of the Pece in 1879, and in 1881 I ws elected Superintendent of Public Instruction for my (Duplin) County, and held that position for eight years. In 1890 and again in 1892 I was elected to represent the Third North Carolina District in the Congress of the United States. I did not agree with my father regarding the policy of nullification or of accession. While I subscribed to the doctrine that no state in the Union had ever relinquished the right to be its own Judge of the mode and measure of redress whenever its welfare and its peace should be put in jeopardy by the other States, acting separately or jointly, I doubted whether the nullification of a Federal act was consistent with the obligation imposed by the "firm league of friendship" with the unoffending States, if any; and I held that South Carolina should have set a better example than Masschusetts had, and submitted to the tariff as other States did whose interests were identical with her own, and united with them in appeals for justice to the people of the offending States. As to secession, I believed it to be the best for the Southern States to remain in the Union and trust to time and the good sense of the intelligent people of the Northern States for justice to themselves and their children. This hope was strengthened by the circumstance that the interests of the expanding West being identical with those of the South, the time was not far distant when that section would join the South in the struggle for riddance from the burdens imposed by the shipping, fishing, commercial and manufacturing States of the East. This was the stand I took and held until Mr. Linclon compelled me to choose whether I would help him to trample on the constitution and crush South Carolina or help South Carolina defend the principles of the Constitution and her own "sovereignty, freedom and independence". I went with South Carolina as my forefathers went with Massachusetts when "Our Royal Sovereign" threatened to crush her". Clinton Newspaper Documenting the American South: Titles by Benjamin F. Grady (Benjamin Franklin) >> Benjamin Franklin Grady, 10 Oct. 1831-6 Mar. 1914 Source: From DICTIONARY OF NORTH CAROLINA BIOGRAPHY edited by William S. Powell. Copyright (c) 1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. www.uncpress.unc.edu Benjamin Franklin Grady, 10 Oct. 1831-6 Mar. 1914 Benjamin Franklin Grady (10 Oct. 1831-6 Mar. 1914), educator, soldier, congressman, and farmer, was born in Albertson Township, Duplin County, the oldest son of Alexander Outlaw and Anne Sloan Grady. His Grady forebears were in North Carolina by 30 June 1718, when his progenitor William Grady (or Graddy) received fifty acres on Deep Creek in Bertie County from James Rutland. The name is said to have been pronounced Graddy in Duplin County, to which William's son John moved in 1739 to land on the fork of Burncoat Creek and Northeast River. He married Mary, daughter of William Whitfield. Two of their sons, John and Alexander, fought in the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge in 1776; John was killed and a monument placed there to his memory. After the war, Alexander and his wife Nancy Thomas lived on the Grady farm. Their son Henry married Elizabeth Outlaw, daughter of James Outlaw, on 6 Jan. 1799. They were the paternal grandparents of Benjamin Franklin Grady. His mother was the daughter of Gibson and Rachel Bryan Sloan. Through his Bryan grandmother, Benjamin was connected with William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska as well as with the North Carolina Bryans, one of whom was Colonel Needham Bryan who represented Johnston County in the provincial congresses of 1774 and 1775. The family is descended from a daughter of Lord Needham (the family name of the Earls of Kilmorey) of Ireland who married a Bryan and immigrated to America. Grady attended public and private schools and was prepared for college by the Reverend James M. Sprunt at Grove Academy, Kenansville. He was one of the student orators at his graduation from The University of North Carolina on 4 June 1857. After earning the A.B. degree with highest honors, he returned to Grove Academy to teach. In 1859, he became professor of mathematics and natural sciences at Austin College, then located at Huntsville, Tex., where he taught until the college suspended operations at the outbreak of the Civil War. Illness from typhoid fever prevented his enlisting until the spring of 1862, when he joined a Texas cavalry unit that became Company K in the Twenty-fifth Regiment and was soon dismounted. Throughout the war he served with the rank of orderly sergeant, twice refusing a captaincy. The entire command was captured at Arkansas Post on 11 Jan. 1863 and confined at Camp Butler, near Springfield, Ill., for about three months before being exchanged in April. Afterwards, Grady was sent to Tullahoma, Tenn., to join General Bragg's army; he served until the close of the war in Granbury's Brigade, Cleburne's Division, Hardee's Corps. Except at Nashville and Bentonville, he participated in all battles and skirmishes in which his brigade was engaged. Toward the end of the war, he once more became ill with typhoid fever and, from 19 March to 2 May 1865, was in Peace Institute, Raleigh, then being used as a hospital. After the war, Grady returned to his home community, called Chocolate, in Duplin County, and soon resumed his life's work of teaching. He organized a school at Moseley Hall (now LaGrange) where he taught for two years. In 1868, he and Professor Murdock McLeod founded the Clinton Male Academy in Clinton, Sampson County, where he taught until 1875 when failing health forced him to abandon teaching for farming. A few years later, however, he returned to his old residence in Duplin County and for several years conducted, in his home, a private school for young men who were unable to go to college. He also founded a Sunday school at old Sutton's Branch School House where he taught music, the Bible, classical literature, and the sciences. During this period he was appointed a justice of the peace. Grady served as a trustee of The University of North Carolina during 1874-91. In 1881 he was elected superintendent of public instruction for Duplin County, a position he held for eight years. Twice elected on the Democratic ticket to the United States Congress, he represented the Third District from 4 Mar. 1891 to 3 Mar. 1895. He then moved to Turkey in Sampson County where he and his son Henry established a school, the Turkey Academy. Around 1900, he moved to Clinton where he spent his last years studying and writing. He published pamphlets, letters, and two books dealing with the South and its struggle: The Case of the South Against the North (1899) and The South's Burden (1906). Earlier he had published An Agricultural Catechism (1867) as a textbook for the common schools. Grady's first wife, Olivia Hamilton of Huntsville, Tex., died while he was a prisoner at Camp Butler, leaving one child, Franklin. His second wife, Mary Charlotte, daughter of Dr. Henry A. and Celestial Robinson Bizzell of Clinton, bore him nine children: Henry A., who became a superior court judge; Cleburne; James B.; Stephen S.; Benjamin; Louis D.; Lessie R.; Mary Eva; and Anna B. He died in Clinton and was buried in the Clinton Cemetery.
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