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Romulus Mitchell Saunders

SAUNDERS, Romulus Mitchell, statesman, born in Caswell county, North Carolina, 3 March, 1791" died in Raleigh, North Carolina, 21 April, 1867. His uncle, James Saun-ders, represented Orange county in the Provincial congress of North Carolina wh{ch met at Italifax, 4 April, 1776, and also in the congress held at the same place, 12 November, 1776, and was appointed colonel of the northern regiment of his county. James's younger brother, William, the father of Romulus, was an oflicer in the North Carolina line. The son was educated at the University of North Carolina, studied law in Tennessee, and was admitted to practice in that state in 1812, having" been adopted by his uncle James on the death of his father, he returned to North Carolina and was elected to the house of commons from Caswell county from 1815 till 1820, serving as speaker of the house in 1819 and 1820. In 1821 he was elected as a Democrat to cong'ress, where he served until 1827, and in 1828 he was chosen attorney-general of the state. In 1833 he was appointed by President Jackson one of the board of commissioners to decide and allot the amounts that were due citizens of the United States for injuries by France, as settled by the treaty of 4 July, 1831. In 1835 he was elected by the legislature judge of the superior courts, which post he resigned in 1840 to become the candidate of the Democratic party for governor, but he was defeated by JohnMoore-head. In 184.4 he was again elected to congress, and in the Democratic national convention of that year he introduced the celebrated two-third rule, by which the votes of two thirds of all the members of the convention were made necessary for a nomination. The adoption of this rule resulted in the defeat of Martin Van Buren for the nomination and the selection of James K. Polk. He continued in congress until 1845, when he was appointed minister to Spain. He was Specially directed by President Polk to negotiate for the purchase of' Cuba, and was authorized to offer $100, -000.000 for that island, lie returned home in October, 1849, and was elected to the house of commons from Wake county in 1850, where he was earnest in securing the construction of the North Carolina railroad, in the reconstruction of the Raleigh and Gaston railroad, and in the development of internal improvements by the state. He was elected judge of the superior courts in 1851, and one of the commissioners to revise and codify the laws of the state. He served as judge until 1865, when he was deposed by Governor William W. Holden.

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