JONATHAN WORTH, the thirty-ninth governor of North Carolina, was born in Randolph County, North Carolina on November 18, 1802. His early education was attained at the Greensboro Academy. He later went on to study law, and in 1824 was admitted to the bar. After establishing a successful legal practice, Worth entered into politics. In his first political position, he served as a member of the North Carolina House of Commons, an office he held from 1830 to 1832. He also served in the North Carolina State Senate from 1840 to 1841; and was the North Carolina treasurer from 1862 to 1865. Worth next won election to the governorship in 1865, and was reelected to a second term in 1866. During his tenure, President Johnson’s reconstruction policies were endorsed; black suffrage rights were contested; and the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment was opposed. Worth did not run for reelection, and had refused to relinquish his duties to Governor-elect William Holden. Consequently, he was removed from office by military decree on July1, 1868. Worth then retired from political life, spending his time at his home in Raleigh. Governor Jonathan Worth passed away on September 6, 1869, and was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, 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.