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Pearson, Richmond Mumford

Richmond Mumford Pearson (1805-1878) of Rowan (now Davie) County, NC, who graduated from the University with first honors in 1823. In addition to practicing law and representing Rowan County in the NC House of Commons, Pearson opened a law school in 1836. In 1848 the General Assembly elected him to the state supreme court, and he became chief justice in 1859. Many of his rulings during the Civil War upheld the rights of individuals over military necessity in habeas corpus cases and in pleas for exemption from the 1862 conscription laws (Dictionary of North Carolina Biography 5:49-51).