Return to Currituck Co.

Biography of Thomas Jordan Jarvis
Source: Sketches of Pitt County: A Brief History of the County 1710-1910; pg. 256, 257 by Henry T. King (1911)

Thomas Jordan Jarvis was born in Currituck County, North Carolina, January 18th, 1836.  He began life as a school teacher, graduating from Randolph-Macon College, Virginia in 1860.  In 1861 he closed his school and enlisted in Company "B", Eighth regiment and was promoted from Lieutenant to Captain.  At Drewry's Bluff in 1864 he was severely wounded, his right arm having been useless since.  Returning home after the war he moved to Tyrrell County and was elected to the Andrew Johnson State Convention of 1865.  He was licensed to practice law in 1866.  In 1868 he was a Seymour and Blair candidate for elector as well as a candidate for the legislature, being elected to the latter.  He was reelected in 1870 and elected Speaker of the House.  In 1872 he moved to Pitt County and was a Greely and Brown candidate for elector.  With W.M. King he was elected to represent Pitt County in the Constitutional Convention of 1875.  In 1876 he was elected Lieutenant Governor on the ticket with Z.B. Vance, and on the election of Governor Vance to the United States Senate he became Governor February 5th, 1879.  In 1880 he was elected Governor for the full term, thus serving six years.  In March 1885 President Cleveland appointed him Minister to Brazil where he remained four years.  On the death of Senator Vance, Governor Carr appointed him United States Senator on April 9th, 1875 to fill the unexpired term.  Since then he has devoted himself to his profession, though taking an active interest in public matters.