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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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Forney, Daniel Munroe

by Louise C. Smith, 1986

May 1784–15 Oct. 1847

A photograph of Daniel Munroe Forney's house, Ingleside, taken April 1940. Historic American Buildings Survey. "David Forney Mansion". Photograph. Documentation compiled after 1933. HABS NC,55-LINC.V,1-. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.Daniel Munroe Forney, planter, public official, congressman, and army officer, was born in Lincoln County, the son of Peter and Nancy Abernathy Forney. He was educated in local schools before attending The University of North Carolina in 1804 as a member of the junior class. An officer in the local militia, he was commissioned a major in the regular army during the War of 1812. Initially he was assigned recruiting duties and then served with the Second Regiment of Artillery. Although agricultural pursuits occupied him much of his life, he also was a public servant. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for most of two terms beginning in 1815 and ending on 6 Oct. 1818, when he resigned. His letter of resignation to Governor John Branch gave no reason why he was stepping down. In 1820 he was appointed by President James Monroe as a member of a commission to treat with the Creek Indians. Between 1823 and 1827 he served four terms in the North Carolina Senate, and in 1829 was elected by the General Assembly to the first of two successive terms on the Council of State.

Forney married Harriett Brevard, daughter of Alexander Brevard, and they were the parents of several children. While his father was a member of Congress, Forney reportedly became acquainted with the Washington architect, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, designer of the national capitol, who apparently prepared the plans for a home, Ingleside, built by Forney on his plantation. Ingleside still stands. Mrs. Forney is said to have prevailed upon her husband to move in 1834 to Lowndes County, Ala., where she believed the family would flourish even more as planters. After a little over a dozen years in his new home, Forney died of what was described as a "chronic disease." He was buried in the family cemetery on his plantation.


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

John L. Cheney, Jr., North Carolina Government, 1585–1974 (1975).

Daniel L. Grant, Alumni History of the University of North Carolina (1924) .

Sarah M. Lemmon, Frustrated Patriots, North Carolina and the War of 1812 (1973).

Undated newspaper clipping (North Carolina Collection, Library, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

Additional Resources:

"Forney, Daniel Munroe, (1784 - 1847)." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Washington, D.C.: The Congress. (accessed March 5, 2014).

"Ingleside." N.C. Highway Historical Marker O-14, N.C. Office of Archives & History. (accessed March 5, 2014).

"An act to incorporate the Cape Fear and Yadkin Rail Road Company." Acts passed by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina at the Session of 1831-'32]. Newbern [N.C.]: Printed by Lawrence & Lemay, Printers to the State. 1832. 39-46. (accessed March 5, 2014).

Image Credits:

Historic American Buildings Survey. "David Forney Mansion". Photograph. Documentation compiled after 1933. HABS NC,55-LINC.V,1-. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. (accessed March 5, 2014).

Origin - location: