Curtis Hooks Brogden

38th Governor of the State of North Carolina - 1874 to 1877

Date Born: November 6, 1816

Date Died: January 5, 1901

Place Born: Wayne County, NC

Place Buried: Willowdale Cemetery in Goldsboro, NC

Residence: Goldsboro, NC

Occupation: Major General in NC State Militia, Justice of the Peace, Farmer


Curtis Hooks Brogden was born on November 6, 1816 near what later became Goldsboro in Wayne County, NC, the son of Pierce Brogden and Amy (Bread) Brogden. Like most North Carolina farm boys of his time, his opportunity for formal education was limited, but Brogden was an auto didact, learning by his own studies.

A lifelong bachelor, Curtis Hooks Brogden was a temperate man who used no tobacco and seldom drank. His habits were simple, his affections local and provincial. He rarely traveled beyond the boundaries of his native state. Through frugality he became one of the largest landowners in Wayne County, NC.

Curtis Hooks Brogden continued the family tradition of military service and joined the North Carolina state militia at the age of 18. He was elected Captain at his second muster, and eventually rose to the rank of Major General.

In 1838, Curtis Hooks Brogden was first elected as one of two men to represent Wayne County in the NC House of Representatives of the:
- 62nd General Assembly that met from 1838-1839
- 63rd General Assembly that met from 1840-1841
- 64th General Assembly that met from 1842-1843
- 65th General Assembly that met from 1844-1845
- 66th General Assembly that met from 1846-1847
- 67th General Assembly that met from 1848-1849
- 68th General Assembly that met from 1850-1851

Many sources assert that he was elected to the NC Senate and served from 1852 to 1857, but this Author has not found this to be accurate. In 1852, William Thompson represented Wayne County in the NC Senate, and he continued to serve until 1857.

In 1857, Curtis Hooks Brogden was elected Comptroller of North Carolina until 1867.

In 1867, Curtis Hooks Brogden represented Wayne County in the NC Constitution Convention.

In 1868, Curtis Hooks Brogden was first elected to represent Wayne County in the NC Senate of the:
- 78th General Assembly that met from 1868-1869
- 79th General Assembly that met from 1870-1872

In 1870 he was also appointed as a U.S. Collector of Internal Revenue.

In 1872, Curtis Hooks Brogden was elected the next Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina, serving under Gov. Tod Robinson Caldwell.

On July 11, 1874 Gov. Tod Robinson Caldwell died in office, and Lt. Gov. Curtis Hooks Brogden assumed the duties of the governorship, and he remained in office until January 1, 1877. During his term in office, Gov. Brogden tried to work with the legislature, and focused on higher education. He worked diligently to re-open the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he had been an appointed Trustee from 1869 to 1872. Gov. Brogden also called for founding a black college. While making efforts to lower the state debt, he supported construction of a state penitentiary as a public good.

In 1876, Curtis Hooks Brogden was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to represent North Carolina's 2nd District, and he served one term from 1877 until 1878.

After leaving Congress, Curtis Hooks Brogden essentially retired from public life (with the exception of a single term, in 1887, representing Wayne County in the NC House of Representatives as shown below). By then one of the largest landowners in Wayne County, he devoted himself to farming.

In 1887, Curtis Hooks Brogden was again elected as one of two men to represent Wayne County in the NC House of Representatives of the:
- 87th General Assembly that met in 1887

Curtis Hooks Brogden died on January 5, 1901 and was buried in the Willowdale Cemetery in Goldsboro, NC.


Curtis Hooks Brogden (6 November 1816 – 5 January 1901) was the Republican governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina from 1874 to 1877.

He was born in Goldsboro, North Carolina, the son of a local farmer. Brogden joined the North Carolina state militia at the age of 18 and rose to the rank of major general. First elected to the North Carolina House of Commons in 1838 as a Democrat, he served in the House for nearly 15 years, until 1851. In 1838, he was also elected Wayne County Justice of the Peace, a position he held for twenty consecutive years.

In 1852, Brogden rose to the North Carolina Senate, where he served until 1857, when he was named North Carolina Comptroller by the General Assembly. Brogden briefly left the senate in 1867; during the span from 1867-1868, he represented Wayne County at a state constitutional convention and was a member of the Electoral College supporting Ulysses S. Grant.

Brogden returned to the North Carolina Senate in 1868 and served for four years until he was elected lieutenant governor on the Republican ticket with Tod R. Caldwell. When Gov. Caldwell died in office, Brogden succeeded to the position of governor. During his term in office, the state saw the re-opening of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Brogden also called for the formation of a black college and a state penitentiary.

At the end of his term as governor, Brogden was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he served only one term (1877–1879), after which he retired from public life (with the exception of a single term, in 1887, representing Wayne County in the North Carolina House of Representatives).

Brogden died in his hometown of Goldsboro in 1901 and is buried there.


Brogden, Curtis Hooks, a Representative from North Carolina; born in Goldsboro, Wayne County, N.C., November 6, 1816; pursued academic studies; member of the State house of representatives 1840-1850; comptroller of the State 1857-1867; appointed collector of internal revenue in 1869; member of the State senate 1868-1872; Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina in 1872 and Governor upon the death of Governor Caldwell, July 14, 1874; elected as a Republican to the Forty-fifth Congress (March 4, 1877-March 3, 1879); again a member of the State house of representatives 1886-1888; represented North Carolina at the centennial celebration in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1876; died in Goldsboro, N.C., January 5, 1901; interment in Willowdale Cemetery.
Curtis Hooks Brogden, governor of North Carolina, was born in Goldsboro, NC on November 6, 1816. His early education was attained in the common schools of his native state. He later went on to study law, and in 1845 was admitted to the bar, however he never practiced. In 1834 he joined the North Carolina state militia, where he served as Captain, and later was promoted to the rank of Major General. Brogden first entered politics as a member of the NC House of Commons, a position he held from 1838 to 1851. He also served as the Wayne County Justice of the Peace from 1838 to 1858; was a member of the NC Senate from 1852 to 1857; and served as the North Carolina state Comptroller from 1857 to 1867. In 1867 he served as a delegate to the NC Constitutional Convention; and from 1872 to 1874 he was the Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina. On July 11, 1874 Governor Tod Robinson Caldwell died in office, and Lt. Gov. Brogden assumed the duties of the governorship. During his tenure, railroad development was promoted; the University of North Carolina was reopened; and penal reform was supported, as well as educational improvements for blacks. After leaving the governorship, Brogden served in the U.S. House of Representatives, an office he held from 1877 to 1879. In his last political position, he served as a member of the NC House of Representatives from 1886 to 1888. Curtis H. Brogden passed away on January 5, 1901, and was buried in the Willowdale Cemetery in Goldsboro, NC.

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