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Caldwell, Tod Robinson

Tod Robinson Caldwell (1818-1874) was the son of Hannah and John Caldwell, an Irish immigrant and prominent merchant. Born in Morganton, NC, Tod attended Bingham's Hillsborough Academy. He entered the University in 1836, became a member of the Dialectic Society, and graduated with honors in 1840. The same year he married Minerva Ruffin Cain; the couple had three daughters and two sons. Having read the law under Gov. David Swain as a University student, Caldwell returned to Burke County to pursue a legal and political career. He supported the Union, and "unlike most of his fellow Whigs, he retained his allegiance to the Union after secession, taking no part in the war" (Dictionary of North Carolina Biography 1: 305). A son however fought in Gen. Lee's army and died at Gettysburg. A founder of the North Carolina Republican party during reconstruction, Caldwell served as lieutenant governor, becoming acting governor in 1870, when Gov. William W. Holden was suspended pending his impeachment trial. After Holden was removed from office in 1871, Caldwell became governor. He died in office in 1874.