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Alfred Moore Scales
North Carolina

Gov. Alfred Moore Scales

  • January 21, 1885 - January 17, 1889
  • Democratic
  • November 26, 1827
  • February 9, 1892
  • North Carolina
  • University of North Carolina
  • Married Kate Henderson; one child
  • Representative
  • Army


ALFRED M. SCALES, the forty-fifth governor of North Carolina, was born in Reidsville, North Carolina on November 26, 1827. His education was attained at the Caldwell Institute, and at the University of North Carolina. He went on to study law, and then established his legal career, serving as the Rockingham County solicitor in 1852. Scales first entered politics as a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives, a position he held from 1852 to 1853, 1856 to 1857 and 1866 to 1869. He also served as a member of the U. S. House of Representatives from 1857 to 1859 and 1875 to 1884; and was an 1860 presidential elector on the Breckenridge-Lane ticket. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Scales served as a private in the Confederate Army and later was promoted to the rank of brigadier general. After his military service, he returned to his political career. In 1884, he secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and then went on to win the general election. During his tenure, road and railroad construction was advanced; and educational improvements were sanctioned. After completing his term, Scales retired from political life. He continued to stay active in his legal practice, as well as becoming involved in the banking industry. Governor Alfred M. Scales passed away on February 9, 1892, and was buried in the Green Hill Cemetery in Greensboro, North Carolina.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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