Abraham Rencher

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Abraham Rencher, New Mexico Territory Governor.

Abraham Rencher (August 12, 1798 – July 6, 1883) was a politician from the state of North Carolina. His career included: Congressman; Chargé d'affaires to Portugal; and Governor of New Mexico Territory.

Biography[edit]

Rencher was born near Raleigh, North Carolina on August 12, 1798 to John Grant, the county sheriff, and Ann (Nelson) Rencher.[1] He was tutored at home, and attended the common schools and Pittsboro Academy. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1822, studied law with Frederick Nash, was admitted to the bar in 1825, and commenced practice in Pittsboro.

He was elected as a Jacksonian to the Twenty-first and Twenty-second Congresses, as an Anti-Jacksonian to the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Congresses, and as a Whig to the Twenty-fifth Congress, serving from March 4, 1829 to March 3, 1839. He declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1838.

In 1840 Rencher was again elected to Congress as a Whig, and he served one term, March 4, 1841 to March 3, 1843 (the Twenty-seventh Congress). He declined to be candidate for renomination in 1842 on the grounds of ill health.

Rencher served as U.S. Chargé d'affaires to Portugal from 1843 to 1847, appointed by President John Tyler.[1]

From 1857 to 1861 Rencher served as Governor of New Mexico Territory, appointed by President Buchanan. Renchler had previously declined Buchanan's suggestion to become Secretary of the Navy, lobbying instead for the Governor position. He was appointed on August 17, 1857 and arrived in Santa Fe on November 11. While in office Rencher clashed with the military and was critical of their campaign against the Indians. Rencher was successful in passing legislature requiring all children to attend school. He also lowered the territories debt significantly. In 1859 he signed legislature defining and protecting the status of slaves as property. However, at the beginning of the Civil War Renchler remained loyal to the Union and raised regiments to defend the territory. President Abraham Lincoln did not reappoint Renchler and he left office in August 1861.[1]

After leaving New Mexico Rencher returned to his home in Pittsboro, where he lived in retirement. He was a supporter of the Union, and took no active part in the Civil War.

He died in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on July 6, 1883 and was interred at St. Bartholomew's Protestant Episcopal Churchyard in Pittsboro.

Family[edit]

In 1836 Rencher married Louisa Mary Jones, daughter of Colonel Edward and Elizabeth Mallett Jones. They had four children.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Abraham Rencher". New Mexico History. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Long
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 10th congressional district

1829–1839
Succeeded by
Charles Fisher
Preceded by
Charles Fisher
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 10th congressional district

1841–1843
Succeeded by
District inactive