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About David Settle Reid
David Settle Reid (April 19, 1813 – June 19, 1891) was the 32nd Governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina from 1851 to 1854 and a U.S. Senator from December 1854 to March 1859. His uncle was Congressman Thomas Settle, and his brother was Hugh Kearns Reid.
He was born in what would later be Reidsville, North Carolina, an unincorporated town named for his father, Reuben Reid. At age 16, David Reid became the first postmaster for the town. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1833. From 1835 to 1842, Reid served in the North Carolina Senate. He was a U.S. Representative from 1843 to 1847. In 1848, Reid was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor, losing to Charles Manly by only 854 votes. In 1850, Reid defeated Manly by 2,853 votes, returning the Democrats to the governor's office for the first time since 1836, when the state constitution changed so that the people, rather than the legislature, chose the Governor. In his campaigns, Reid promoted the now-obscure cause of "free suffrage," i.e. that there should not be different standards for who could vote for members of the North Carolina House of Commons and of the North Carolina Senate.
In the Senate, Reid was chairman of the Committee on Patents and the Patent Office. He sought but was denied a full term in the Senate when he lost a three-way internal party fight with Thomas Bragg and William W. Holden in 1858. He returned to the practice of law and was a delegate to an 1861 peace convention to try to prevent the American Civil War. Reid was a member of a state constitutional convention in 1875.
Reid died in Reidsville in 1891 and is buried in Greenview Cemetery in the same city.