Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MERRIMON, Augustus Summerfield, senator, born in Buncombe county (now Transylvania), North Carolina, 15 September, 1830. He was the son of a Methodist clergyman, and the eldest of ten children, he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1852, became solicitor to several counties in his circuit, and in 1861 solicitor for the district. In 1860 he was elected to the legislature. At the beginning of the agitation that led to the civil war Mr. Merrimon took a decided stand for the Union, but the proclamation of President Lincoln calling for 75,000 men decided him to join the Confederate army, in which for a short time he was attached to the commissary department as captain. In 186t; he was chosen judge of the superior courts by the legislature, and as such held the first regular sessions on his circuit under circumstances of considerable peril, a police force having to be organized in several counties by the sheriff to preserve the peace. When General Edward R. S. Canby, in command of the United States forces, issued military orders to the courts, Judge Merrimon resigned his commission. In 1872 he was nominated for governor, but was defeated by a small majority. Ha was chosen United States senator in the following December, and served from 1873 till 1879.
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