Cameron A. Morrison

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Cameron A. Morrison
Cameron A. Morrison.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 10th district
In office
January 3, 1943 – January 3, 1945
Preceded byNew Constituency (Redistricting)
Succeeded byJoseph W. Ervin
United States Senator
from North Carolina
In office
December 13, 1930 – December 4, 1932
Preceded byLee S. Overman
Succeeded byRobert R. Reynolds
55th Governor of North Carolina
In office
January 12, 1921 – January 14, 1925
LieutenantWilliam B. Cooper
Preceded byThomas Walter Bickett
Succeeded byAngus Wilton McLean
Personal details
Born(1869-10-05)October 5, 1869
Rockingham, North Carolina, U.S.
DiedAugust 20, 1953(1953-08-20) (aged 83)
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Political partyDemocratic

Cameron A. Morrison (October 5, 1869 – August 20, 1953) was the 55th Governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina from 1921 to 1925.

Early life and career[edit]

He was born in 1869 in Richmond County, North Carolina.

In 1898, Morrison participated in the Wilmington insurrection of 1898, a violent coup d'état by a group of white supremacists. They expelled opposition black and white political leaders from the city, destroyed the property and businesses of black citizens built up since the Civil War, including the only black newspaper in the city, and killed an estimated 60 to more than 300 people.[1] The governor of North Carolina, Daniel Lindsay Russell, was forced to flee from Wilmington to Raleigh. Morrison boarded Russell's train in Maxton, North Carolina in the company of a small band of Red Shirts and warned Russell that a more hostile band of Red Shirts were waiting at a later stop. He advised Russell to hide in the baggage car to avoid being lynched, which he did.[2]

In 1900, he was elected to the North Carolina Senate for one term.[3]


With the backing of Sen. Furnifold Simmons and the help of race-baiting tactics employed by A. D. Watts, Morrison defeated O. Max Gardner in the 1920 Democratic primary for governor.[4] In the general election, he defeated Republican nominee John J. Parker.

He came to be called "the Good Roads governor" for his support of a modern highway system. Morrison also pushed for increased funds for public education, while also battling the teaching of the theory of evolution.[5]

Later career[edit]

He was later appointed to serve as a United States Senator for the state of North Carolina (after the death of Lee S. Overman) between 1930 and 1932, but lost his seat in the Democratic primary runoff to Robert R. Reynolds.[6]

Morrison was later elected to one term in the United States House of Representatives from 1943 to 1945.[7] He again lost a Democratic primary for a U.S. Senate seat in 1944, to Clyde R. Hoey.[8] He died in Quebec City in 1953.


A ten-story residence hall on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill is named in Morrison's honor. His home at Charlotte, Morrocroft, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.[9]

A library in Charlotte was named after Morrison, but was renamed in 2020 due to Morrison's ties with the Red Shirts and white supremacy.[10] A residence hall at North Carolina A&T State University was also named after Morrison, but the name was removed in 2020.[11]


  1. ^ "RACE QUESTION IN POLITICS:North Carolina White Men Seek to Wrest Control from the Negroes". New York Times. October 24, 1898.
  2. ^ Zucchino, David (2020). Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy. Atlantic Monthly Press. ISBN 9780802128386., pp. 172-173
  3. ^ NCpedia biography of Cameron Morrison
  4. ^ News & Observer: "What the obituary didn't say" by Rob Christensen Archived 2008-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Evolution Controversy in NC in the 1920s". Archived from the original on February 20, 2009. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  6. ^ "Our Campaigns - NC US Senate - D Runoff Race - Jul 02, 1932". Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  7. ^ "Our Campaigns - NC District 10 Race - Nov 03, 1942". Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  8. ^ "Our Campaigns - NC US Senate - D Primary Race - May 27, 1944". Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  9. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  10. ^ "Charlotte library removes name of white supremacist from branch". WBTV. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  11. ^ Whitlow, Jamille (September 29, 2020). "Board of Trustees removes names of two campus buildings". The A&T Register. Retrieved October 23, 2020.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Walter Bickett
Democratic nominee for Governor of North Carolina
Succeeded by
Angus Wilton McLean
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Walter Bickett
Governor of North Carolina
Succeeded by
Angus Wilton McLean
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Lee Slater Overman
U.S. senator (Class 3) from North Carolina
Served alongside: Furnifold McLendel Simmons, Josiah William Bailey
Succeeded by
Robert Rice Reynolds
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Alfred L. Bulwinkle
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 10th congressional district

Succeeded by
Joseph Wilson Ervin