EDWARD B. DUDLEY, the twenty-eight governor of North Carolina, was born near Jacksonville, North Carolina on December 15, 1789. His education was attained at an academy in Onslow. During the War of 1812, he commanded an Onslow regiment of volunteers and eventually earned the rank of lieutenant colonel. Dudley first entered politics in 1811, serving as a member of the North Carolina House of Commons, a position he held again in 1813, 1816 to 1817, and 1834 to 1835. He also served in the North Carolina Senate in 1814; was a presidential elector in 1824 and 1828; and served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1829 to 1831. Dudley next won election to the governorship in 1836, becoming the first governor elected by a popular vote. He was reelected to a second term in 1838. During his tenure, road construction was recommended; and improvements to the penal and educational systems were lobbied for. After completing his term, Dudley retired from political life. He returned to his duties as president of the Wilmington & Raleigh Railroad Company, a post he held until 1846. Governor Edward B. Dudley passed away on October 30, 1855, and was buried in the Oak Dale Cemetery in Wilmington, 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.