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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Blackledge, William Salter

by Daniel M. Mcfarland, 1979

1793–21 Mar. 1857

William Salter Blackledge, congressman, was born in Pitt County, the son of William Blackledge, Sr. (d. 1828), who served several terms in Congress from the New Bern district during the Jefferson and Madison administrations. The family moved to Craven County not long after William Salter was born. He graduated from The University of North Carolina in 1812 and on 26 Apr. 1815 married Mary Hatch. He served one term in commons, 1820.

Blackledge was elected as a Republican to the Sixteenth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Jesse Slocumb in December of 1820. Reelected in 1821, he served in Congress until March 1823, when he chose not to run for reelection again. In the Seventeenth Congress he served as chairman of the Committee on Public Buildings. In his brief tenure in Congress he moved away from the strict constructionist ideas of his father and subscribed to the nationalistic policies of John C. Calhoun during the Monroe administration. As the election of 1824 approached, he supported John C. Calhoun's candidacy but opposed any alliance with Jackson.

After Blackledge left Congress, he became an enthusiastic supporter of John Quincy Adams and the National Republicans. He was an Adams elector in 1828. He remained active in the campaign for internal improvements, especially supporting the building of a railroad from New Bern through the central part of the state. In 1842 he served as commissioner to help determine the boundary between Jones and Craven counties. He died in New Bern and was buried in the New Bern Cemetery.


Biog. Dir. Am. Cong. (1971).

D. L. Corbitt, The Formation of North Carolina Counties (1950).

Additional Resources:

"Blackledge, William Salter, (1793 - 1856)." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Washington, D.C.: The Congress. (accessed April 19, 2013).

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