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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Connor, Henry William

by Daniel M. Mcfarland, 1979

5 Aug. 1793–6 Jan. 1866

Henry William Connor, planter and congressman, was born near Amelia Court House, Prince George County, Va., and was graduated from South Carolina College, Columbia, in 1812. In 1814 he served as major and as aide-de-camp to Brigadier General Joseph Graham in the expedition against the Creek Indians. After the war he settled as a planter near Sherrill's Ford on the Catawba River.

Connor first ran for Congress against two Federalists in 1819; he was defeated by William Davidson. He defeated Davidson two years later and served in Congress for ten consecutive terms, from 1821 to 1841, seldom facing serious opposition. In February of 1825, when the House selected John Quincy Adams as president, most of the North Carolina delegation supported W.H. Crawford; Connor and Robert B. Vance cast their ballots for Andrew Jackson. For the rest of his political career, Connor was a loyal Democrat. His votes generally opposed centralization of power in Washington. During his first terms on Capitol Hill he was assigned to the Committee on Manufactures, and later he served on the Post Office and Post Roads Committee, of which he was chairman for several years. In his last session he was a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. After he retired from Congress, his seat was taken by Green W. Caldwell, a fellow Democrat.

Connor was suggested as the Democratic candidate for governor in 1839. He was president of the Democratic State Convention in Salisbury in 1842 and was elected a councilor of state by the assembly in December of that year. Catawba County sent him to the state senate from 1848 to 1850. He died at Beattie's Ford soon after the end of the Civil War and was buried at Rehoboth Methodist Cemetery in Catawba County.


Biog. Dir. Am. Cong. (1971).

J. G. deR. Hamilton, Party Politics in North Carolina, 1835–1860 (1916).

W. S. Hoffmann, Andrew Jackson and North Carolina Politics (1971).

Additional Resources:

"Connor, Henry William, (1793 - 1866)." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Washington, D.C.: The Congress. (accessed January 15, 2014).

Robinson, Solon. Solon Robinson, pioneer and agriculturist; selected writings vol. 2. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau. 1936. 391. (accessed January 15, 2014).

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