Archibald D. Murphey

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Archibald D. Murphey was born in Orange County, North Carolina, in an area that would later become Caswell County. His father Archibald Murphey was a Pennsylvania Revolutionary Officer. His mother, Jane DeBow was from New Jersey. Archibald was one of seven children. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1799 with honors, and later became a professor at the University, but only for a few years. From there he moved to Hillsborough so that he could study law. He ended up marring a woman by the name of, Jane Armistead Scott. Archibald D. Murphey was a teacher, attorney, planter, legislator and judge but his greatest contribution to the great state of North Carolina did not come in any of these professions. He was also a planner, dreamer and schemer, all for the common good of North Carolina. His project planned for the improvement of transportation, education, more agriculture production, as well as the elimination of slavery and the preparation of a state history. Murphey believed that if the citizens of North Carolina understood the foundation and consequences of past events in their part of the world, then they would take more pride in North Carolina and its future. Murphey’s social concepts were quite advanced for his time. He was later recognized as a prophet of a new era. He was most concerned with the improvement of economic and social conditions in North Carolina. He realized that the changes he contemplated depended on the creation of a system of public education. This was referred to as internal improvements, where both must move along together with support for one prompting support for the other. Murphey was well known for his proposals concerning transportation, public education and Constitutional Reform. In 1817, Murphey submitted a legislative report recommending that North Carolina create a publicly financed system of education. In 1819, he drafted a document proposing a program to build roads and canals throughout the state. This...
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