Thomas Bragg, Jr.

31st Governor of the State of North Carolina - 1855 to 1859

Date Born: November 9, 1810

Date Died: January 21, 1872

Place Born: Warrenton, NC

Place Buried: Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, NC

Residence: Jackson, NC

Occupation: Lawyer


Thomas Bragg was born on November 9, 1810 in Warrenton, NC, the son of Thomas Bragg and Margaret (Crossland) Bragg. He attended Warrenton Academy and later graduated from Captain Partridge’s American Literary, Scientific & Military Academy now known as Norwich University - The Military College of Vermont. Bragg then studied law under NC Supreme Court Justice John Hall. He was admitted to the North Carolina bar in 1833 and commenced his law practice in Jackson, Northampton County, NC.

In 1833, Thomas Bragg was elected County Solicitor for Northampton County.

On October 4, 1837, Thomas Bragg married Isabella M. Cuthbert of Petersburg, VA, and they had eight known children.

In 1842, Thomas Bragg was elected as one of two men to represent Northampton County in the NC House of Commons of the:
- 64th General Assembly that met from 1842-1843

In the 1854 general election, Thomas Bragg was elected as the next Governor of North Carolina. He served two two-year terms from January 1, 1855 to January 1, 1859. Gov. Bragg’s administration reflected a blending of old Whig and Democratic programs. The law eliminating the freehold requirement to vote for state senators was finally passed; Gov. Bragg continued support for internal improvements, particularly the North Carolina Railroad; and he pushed for an improved banking system to help stabilize the economy.

In 1858, the NC General Assembly elected Thomas Bragg to represent North Carolina in the U.S. Senate, and he served there until that body expelled him for supporting the Confederate cause.

In November of 1861, Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed Thomas Bragg as the second Attorney General of the Confederate States of America. Bragg replaced Judah Benjamin until he resigned in March of 1862.

After the Civil War and during Reconstruction, Thomas Bragg opposed some of the changes that were made in the 1868 NC Constitution. The Conservative Party opposed what they deemed to be Radical Republican rule and in particular denounced Gov. William Woods Holden’s actions in suppressing the Ku Klux Klan activity. A legal, all-star team of Thomas Bragg, William A. Graham, and Augustus Merrimon were hired to prosecute Gov. Holden in 1871. They were successful.

Thomas Bragg died on January 21, 1872 and was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, NC.


Thomas Bragg (November 9, 1810 – January 21, 1872) was a North Carolina politician and lawyer. During the Civil War, he served in the Confederate States Cabinet. He was the older brother of General Braxton Bragg.

Born in Warrenton, North Carolina, Bragg attended Warrenton Academy and later graduated from Captain Partridge’s Military Academy. He was admitted to the bar in 1833 and commenced practice out of Jackson, North Carolina. He was a member of the North Carolina General Assembly 1842 to 1843 and became prosecuting attorney for Northampton County.

He successfully ran for Governor of North Carolina and served from 1855 to 1859. He then took a seat in the United States Senate, serving from 1859 until the start of the Civil War in 1861. He served as chairman of the Committee on Claims in the thirty-sixth congress. He was expelled for siding with the Confederacy. Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed Bragg Attorney General of the Confederate States and served from 1861 until his resignation in 1862. He continued to practice law until his death in 1872. He was interned in Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, North Carolina.


Bragg, Thomas, a Senator from North Carolina; born in Warrenton, Warren County, N.C., November 9, 1810; attended the Warrenton Academy; graduated from Captain Partridge’s Military Academy, Middletown, Conn.; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1833 and commenced practice in Jackson, Northampton County, N.C.; member, State house of commons 1842-1843; prosecuting attorney for Northampton County; Governor of North Carolina 1855-1859; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1859, until March 6, 1861, when he withdrew; expelled from the Senate for support of the rebellion in 1861; chairman, Committee on Claims (Thirty-sixth Congress); appointed Attorney General of the Confederate States November 21, 1861, and served two years; resumed the practice of law; died in Raleigh, NC, January 21, 1872; interment in Oakwood Cemetery.
Thomas Bragg, governor of North Carolina, was born in Warrenton, NC, on November 9, 1810. His education was attained at an academy in Warrenton, and at Captain Partridge’s Military Academy in Connecticut. He went on to study law, and then established his legal career, serving as the county attorney. Bragg first entered politics as a member of the NC House of Commons, a position he held from 1842 to 1843. He also served as a delegate to the 1844, 1848 and 1852 Democratic National Conventions. Bragg next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in the 1854 general election. He was reelected to a second term in 1856. During his tenure, the state railways were advanced; agricultural and industrial development flourished; and educational improvements were initiated. After leaving office, Bragg served in the U.S. Senate, an office he held from 1859 until 1861. In his last political position, he served as the Attorney General of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1862. Thomas Bragg passed away on January 21, 1872, and was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, NC.

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