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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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Martin, Charles Henry

28 Aug. 1848–19 Apr. 1931

Charles Henry Martin, congressman and Baptist clergyman, was born near Youngsville, Franklin County, the son of William K. and Lucy Temperance Jones Martin. He was the great-grandson of Nathaniel Macon. After his graduation from Wake Forest College in 1872, he taught Latin at the college for two years and then at the Chowan Baptist Female Institute in Murfreesboro. For a time he was principal of Yadkin Mineral Springs Academy at Palmerville in Stanly County. Martin studied law at the University of Virginia, was admitted to the North Carolina bar in 1879, and practiced first in Louisburg and later in Raleigh. Ordained to the ministry in the Baptist church in Rolesville in 1886, he undertook a course of study at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. With no initiative on his part, he received the Populist nomination for Congress in 1895. Following a contested election, he was declared the winner and served two terms from 1896 until 1899, his opponent already having served a part of the first term.

Martin was pastor of churches in Richmond, Stanly, and Anson counties. In Anson, he was pastor of the Polkton Baptist church for many years. A poet and a contributor to numerous periodicals, he had the manuscript of a book, "The Theory of Evolution," ready for publication at the time of his death. Its purpose was to refute Darwin's theory of evolution.

Martin married Mary Lemuel Williams in 1889, and they were the parents of Isaac W., Lucie, Annabel, and Mildred. He was buried in the Williams cemetery at Polkton.


Biblical Recorder, 29 Apr. 1931.

Biog. Dir. Am. Cong. (1961).

Central Baptist Association Minutes (1887).

Mary L. Medley, History of Anson County, 1750–1976 (1976).

Bessie Hursey Nash, From a Mustard Seed: A History of the First Baptist Church, Hamlet, N.C. (1973).

George W. Paschal, History of Wake Forest College, vol. 2 (1943).

Charles E. Taylor, General Catalogue of Wake Forest College, 1834/35–1891–92 (1892).

Wadesboro Messenger and Intelligencer, 20 Apr. 1931.

Additional Resources:

Martin, Charles H[enry]. Revenue Bill. Speech of Hon. Charles H. Martin . Washington. 1898. (accessed June 16, 2014).

"Martin, Charles Henry, (1848 - 1931)." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Washington, D.C.: The Congress. (accessed June 16, 2014).