Library of Congress
GRAHAM, William Alexander (1804-1875)
Senate Years of Service: 1840-1843

GRAHAM, WILLIAM ALEXANDER, (brother of James Graham), a Senator from North Carolina; born at Vesuvius Furnace, near Lincolnton, Lincoln County, N.C., September 5, 1804; pursued classical studies and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1824; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1825 and commenced practice in Hillsboro, N.C.; member, State house of commons 1833-1840, serving twice as speaker; elected as a Whig to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Robert Strange and served from November 25, 1840, to March 3, 1843; chairman, Committee on Claims (Twenty-seventh Congress); Governor of North Carolina 1845-1849; declined the missions to Spain and Russia in 1849; Secretary of the Navy in the Cabinet of President Millard Fillmore 1850-1852; unsuccessful Whig candidate for vice president in 1852 on the ticket with Winfield Scott; member, State senate 1854-1866, including service in the state Confederate Congress; elected to the United States Senate in 1866, but his credentials were not presented; member of the board of trustees of the Peabody Fund 1867-1875; arbitrator in the boundary line dispute between Virginia and Maryland 1873-1875; died at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., August 11, 1875; interment in the Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Hillsboro, N.C.

Boston Public Library
Boston, MA
Papers: 6 items.

Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society
Buffalo, NY
Papers: Correspondence in Millard Fillmore papers, 1809-1919. Available on microfilm.

Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH
Papers: January 29, 1851. 1 letter. From Daniel Webster.

Duke University
Special Collections Library
Durham, NC
Papers: 1841-1896. 58 items. Correspondence, primarily of William A. Graham, Jr. to his father. Finding aid. Also portrait.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1 letter (1852); and correspondence in Andrew H. Foote papers, 1822-1890; and Edward Settle Godfrey papers, 1863-1933.

North Carolina Division of Archives and History
Raleigh, NC
Papers: 1779-1918. 1,500 items. Congressional, business, and personal papers. Also governor's papers, correspondence, and related material in various other collections.

Syracuse University
George Arents Research Library
Syracuse, NY
Papers: In Edwin D. Morgan letters, 1830-1880.

University of North Carolina
Southern Historical Collection
Chapel Hill, NC
Papers: 1750-1927. 7 feet, including 17 volumes. In part transcripts and microfilm. Political correspondence, microfilm copy of a diary (1776-1786), and legal, business, family, and plantation papers. Finding aid. Additional material in several other collections.

Virginia State Library and Archives
Richmond, VA
Papers: In John Singleton Millson letters, 1847-1860.

  • Hamilton, J.G. de Roulhac, Max R. Williams, and Mary Reynolds Peacock, eds. The Papers of William Alexander Graham. 8 vols. Raleigh: North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1957-1992.
  • McGehee, Montford. "William A. Graham.'' In Lives of Distinguished North Carolinians, compiled by W.J. Peele, pp. 333-77. Raleigh: North Carolina Publishing Society, 1898.
  • Walton, Brian G. "Elections to the United States Senate in North Carolina, 1835-1861.'' North Carolina Historical Review 53 (April 1976): 168-92.
  • Williams, Max R. "The Education of William A. Graham.'' North Carolina Historical Review 40 (Winter 1963): 1-14.
  • ___. "William A. Graham and the Election of 1844: A Study in North Carolina Politics.'' North Carolina Historical Review 45 (Winter 1968): 23-46.
  • ___. "William A. Graham, North Carolina Whig Party Leader, 1804-1849.'' Ph.D. dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1965.