Daniel Gould Fowle

41st Governor of the State of North Carolina - 1889 to 1891

Date Born: March 3, 1831

Date Died: April 7, 1891

Place Born: Washington, NC

Place Buried: Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, NC

Residence: Raleigh, NC

Occupation: Lawyer


Daniel Gould Fowle was born on March 3, 1831 in Washington, NC, the son of Samuel Richardson Fowle and Martha Barney (March) Fowle. At the age of foourteen (14) he attended the William J. Bingham Academy in Orange County, where he finished first in his class, and the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). Upon graduating in 1851 he studied law under Judge Richmond Mumford Pearson, passed the North Carolina bar in 1853, and began his law practice in Raleigh, NC.

On April 15, 1856, Daniel Gould Fowle married Ellen Brent Pearson, daughter of Judge Richmond Mumford Pearson under whom he had studied law and Margaret McClung (Williams) Pearson. She died in 1862 leaving two daughters.

Daniel Gould Fowle was opposed to secession, but he still volunteered as a Private in the NC Militia at the outbreak of the Civil War. He was soon appointed Major in the Commissary branch. Fowle resigned that post and helped to raise the 31st North Carolina Infantry regiment, and on September 9, 1861, Fowle was appointed Lieutenant Colonel. In February of 1862, Lt. Col. Fowle and the 31st NC Regiment were captured on Roanoke Island. He was paroled two weeks later. In September of 1862, he was defeated in the election for Colonel of the regiment and he left the Confederate States Army soon thereafter.

In October of 1862, Daniel Gould Fowle was first elected as one of three men to represent Wake County in the NC House of Commons of the:
- 74th General Assembly that met from 1862-1863

In early 1863, Fowle resigned his seat in the House of Commons after being appointed by Gov. Zebulon Baird Vance as the NC Adjutant General, with the rank of Major General. However, he also resigned this post later in 1863 after a disagreement with Gov. Vance.

In 1864, Daniel Gould Fowle was again elected as one of three men to represent Wake County in the NC House of Commons of the:
- 75th General Assembly that met from 1864-1865

In 1867, Daniel Gould Fowle married a second time, to Mary Eagles Haywood, daughter of Dr. Fabius Julius Haywood and Martha Helen (Whitaker) Haywood of Raleigh; they had four children.

Daniel Gould Fowle then returned to his law practice and made a name for himself in the state Democratic Party. In 1868, he was elected as the state chairman of the Democratic Party. In 1880 he was defeated in the gubernatorial election and in 1884 he lost a race for the U.S. Congress.

In the 1888 General Election, Daniel Gould Fowle was elected by the people as the next Governor of North Carolina. He served from January 17, 1889 until his death in office. He created a state railroad commission to protect farmers and advocated education for women.

Daniel Gould Fowle died on April 7, 1891 and was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, NC.


Daniel Gould Fowle (13 March 1831–7 April 1891) was the Democratic governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina from 1889 to 1891.

Daniel Gould Fowle was a native of Washington in Beaufort County, attended the Bingham School in Hillsborough, and graduated from Princeton. Following his study of the law and admission to the NC Bar, he practiced law, served in the legislature, and was a second lieutenant in the Raleigh Rifles. As a member of the Thirty-first Regiment of the Confederate Army, he was captured at Roanoke Island in 1862. Following his parole, he served in the House of Commons twice, was major general in the adjutant general's department, and was a superior court judge. In 1867, he resigned from the judgeship to avoid obeying orders of the military governor of North and South Carolina.

In 1888, he ran as a Liberal Democrat for the office of governor. When elected, he faced a legislature favorable to farmers and resentful of the influence of the railroads. Fowle believed in the value of the railroads and favored expansion of miles of tracks. To resolve the conflicts, he recommended the creation of a railroad commission. In 1891, he died while in office. He is buried in historic Oakwood Cemetery.


Daniel Gould Fowle, governor of North Carolina, was born in Washington, NC on March 3, 1831. His education was attained at the William Bingham Academy, and at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), where he graduated in 1851. He went on to study law, and in 1853 was licensed to practice. During the Civil War, he served as a Lieutenant with the Raleigh Rifles, and later became a Lieutenant Colonel in the Confederate Army. Fowle first entered politics as a member of the NC House of Representatives, a position he held in 1862 and held again from 1864 to 1865. He also served as a Superior Court justice from 1865 to 1867; and was chairman of the NC State Democratic Committee in 1868. Fowle next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in the 1888 general election. During his tenure, a railroad commission was established; and county land taxes were promoted to fund educational improvements. While still in office, Governor Daniel G. Fowle passed away on April 7, 1891. He was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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