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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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McMillan, Alexander

by Roy Parker, Jr., 1991

1785–13 Nov. 1817

Alexander McMillan, lawyer and legislator, was born in Richmond (now Scotland) County. Because there are no known records of his birth and there were numerous families with the same given and surnames, it is not possible to determine the names of his parents. A Federalist, he represented Richmond County in the state senate during the sessions of 1810, 1811, and 1812. In his first political campaign he defeated Republican Duncan McFarland for the seat, but McFarland insisted that the election inspectors had "acted contrary to law." Although he charged that "sundry false and calumnious reports had been raised by McMillan and friends prior to the election," he did not claim that McMillan was unqualified. McMillan declined an opportunity to respond to McFarland's charges.

Identified as an attorney as early as 1809, he represented clients in the Richmond County court in 1815, and the next year he represented The University of North Carolina in registering a deed. In 1814–15 he purchased two lots in the town of Rockingham in Richmond County. In the election held in March 1817 McMillan was elected to the U.S. Congress from the Seventh Congressional District, but he died in Fayetteville in some unfortunate way, apparently a duel, before taking his seat. He apparently left no will, nor has any positive record been found of a family, although one Alexander McMillan married Sarah Martha Gilchrist and they were the parents of Angus Augustine and Daniel.


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

John L. Cheney, Jr., ed., North Carolina Government, 1585–1979 (1981).

Information from local sources provided by Mrs. Joyce Gibson (Laurel Hill), 20 Feb. 1981.

Angus W. McLean, Lumber River Scots and Their Descendants (1942).

Raleigh Minerva, 28 Nov. 1817.

Raleigh Register, 6, 27 Dec. 1809.

Washington, D.C., National Intelligencer, 25 Nov. 1817.