Daniel Lindsay Russell, Jr., 1845-1908
Although Russell remained in the army until 1864, his sympathies for the Confederacy did not last long. He was dissatisfied by the armyâ€™s organization and structure and became disillusioned by the Confederate leaders, especially President Jefferson Davis. After a scuffle with a superior officer in 1864, a young Russell left the army for the world of politics. To save him from the consequences of violently attacking the officer, Whig Governor Zebulon Vance and other high-ranking political officials helped secure Russell the appointment for commissioner of Brunswick County, thus easing Russellâ€™s transition from military to politics. He went on to serve in the state legislature before obtaining his law degree in 1868 and serving as a state superior court justice as a newly registered Republican. He held that position until 1874. (Powell, 272)
After failing to be reelected to the superior court, in 1878 Russell served one term in the United States Congress as a member of the Greenback Party. By the 1890s, Russell began advocating for the fusionist ticket joining the Populists and Republicans. He won the Fusionist gubernatorial nomination in 1896 in the mist of heated political debate. The Democrats found him an easy target for their propaganda campaign and criticized him for his moderate progressive policies, including efforts to make it easier for more people to register to vote. They declared that â€œRussellismâ€ needed to be defeated ("North Carolina Election of 1898 collection"). By 1898, Governor Russell found himself in the middle of the heated White Supremacy Campaign of the Democrats, receiving criticism from all sides. Although he served out the remainder of his term, Governor Russell disappeared from the political scene shortly after 1901. He died in Wilmington in 1908 near his familyâ€™s farm (Powell, 272).
Powell, William Stevens. "Russell, Daniel." Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, vol. 5. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
"The North Carolina Election of1898" North Carolina Digital Collection. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina. Accessed April 4, 2012, http://www.lib.unc.edu/ncc/1898/bios/russell.html.
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