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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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Whiting, Seymour Webster

by Robert G. Anthony, Jr., 1996

15 Aug. 1816–2 Jan. 1855

Seymour Webster Whiting, banker, railroad official, and poet, was a native of Stratford, Conn. When about eighteen years of age, he moved to Raleigh and obtained a license to practice law. Whiting, however, chose a business rather than a legal career. He became an officer in the State Bank and for several years, beginning about 1839, served as treasurer of the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad.

Whiting also achieved recognition as a poet, with his works appearing in several nineteenth-century literary collections, including Mary Bayard Clarke's Wood-Notes (1854), Calvin H. Wiley's North Carolina Reader (1859), and Eugene G. Harrell and John B. Neathery's North Carolina Speaker (1887). His best-known poem seems to have been "Alamance," a celebration of the Regulator battle as a glorious struggle for freedom. On 19 May 1841 he married Hannah M. Stuart, of Raleigh, the daughter of John Stuart. They had eight children: George M., Mary Stuart, Elizabeth F., Margaret, Seymour, Hannah, Brainard, and Chester. Whiting died in Raleigh and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery.

References:

Eugene Clyde Brooks, North Carolina Poems (1912).

Raleigh and Gaston Railroad, Reports (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

Raleigh Register, 21 May 1841, 17 Jan. 1855.

Whiting's estate papers in Wake County Estates Records, 1770–1941 (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

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