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Thomas Settle judge - Brady-Handy

Thomas Settle

Thomas Settle (January 23, 1831 – December 1, 1888) was an American judge and politician in North Carolina.

Born in Rockingham County, North Carolina, Settle received an A.B. from the University of North Carolina in 1850 and read law at the Richmond Hill Law School to enter the bar in 1854. He was a private secretary to North Carolina Governor David S. Reid from 1850 to 1854, thereafter entering private practice in Rockingham County. He was a member of the North Carolina General Assembly before and after the American Civil War. First elected to the state's House in 1854, in 1858 to 1859, Settle served as Speaker of the North Carolina House of Commons, like his father before him. He was in private practice of law in North Carolina from 1860 to 1861, and was a solicitor for the Fourth Judicial Circuit of North Carolina in 1861. Before the outbreak of the Civil War, Settle was a pro-Union, pro-Stephen A. Douglas Democrat. During the Civil War, Settle served in the Confederate army as a Captain, from 1861 to 1862. He returned to his solicitorship from 1862 to 1868, and was a member and of the North Carolina State Senate from 1865 to 1868. In 1865–1866, Settle, who became one of the founders of the state's Republican Party, served as Speaker of the North Carolina Senate. From 1868 to 1871, Settle served as an Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, before he was appointed U.S. Minister to Peru. In 1872, he returned to the state supreme court, and he presided over the 1872 Republican National Convention. In 1876, he was the unsuccessful Republican candidate for Governor of North Carolina, losing to former Governor Zebulon B. Vance. His father was also named Thomas Settle, as was his son, Thomas Settle. Both his father and his son served in the U.S. Congress.

On January 26, 1877, Settle was nominated by President Ulysses Grant to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida vacated by Philip Fraser. Settle was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 30, 1877, and received commission the same day, serving thereafter until his death, in 1888, in Raleigh, North Carolina.


  • Thomas Settle (judge) at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Alvin P. Hovey
United States Minister to Peru
13 May 1871–22 November 1871
Succeeded by
Francis Thomas

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