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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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Mumford, George

by James W. Wall, 1991

d. 31 Dec. 1818

George Mumford, congressman, legislator, farmer, merchant, and dealer in real estate, was originally from the Fayetteville and Cumberland County area. His father, Robinson (or Robeson) Mumford, owned a tobacco warehouse in Fayetteville and was clerk of the Cumberland County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions and sheriff. His mother's given name was Margaret.

In 1792 George Mumford purchased 590 acres of the 640-acre grant of Squire Boone on Elisha and Dutchman creeks in Davie (then Rowan) County. He lived at different times in Davie, Cumberland, Orange, and Rowan counties. From 1809 to 1814 he operated a store in or near Mock's Old Field (now Mocksville). In 1815 his wife Mehitable Handy of Newport, R.I., opened a school for young ladies in their home at Milton in Rowan County.

Mumford was a member of the North Carolina House of Commons in 1810–11. He was one of the first directors of the Salisbury branch of the State Bank of North Carolina in 1811. Sometime prior to 1817, he was appointed principal assessor of the Tenth Collection District of North Carolina.

Elected as a Democrat (Jeffersonian Republican) to the Fifteenth Congress, Mumford served from 4 Mar. 1817 until his death. Although at first there was a question as to his eligibility because of the tax assessor job, an investigative committee ruled that his office had expired before he took his seat in the House. His term in Congress was during the "Era of Good Feelings"—a period characterized by the absence of two-party strife following the disappearance of the Federalist party. Mumford, a progressive, was one of two North Carolina congressmen who supported the internal improvements portion of Henry Clay's celebrated American system. He died in Washington, D.C., of diphtheria and was buried in the Congressional Cemetery.


Biog. Dir. Am. Cong. (1950).

James S. Brawley, The Rowan Story (1953).

McCubbins Papers (Rowan County Library, Salisbury).

Martin Collection (Davie County Library, Mocksville).

Lois S. Neal, Abstract of Vital Records, vol. 1 (1979).

Raleigh Register, 8 Jan. 1819.

J. K. Rouse, North Carolina Picadillo (1966).

James W. Wall, History of Davie County (1969).

John H. Wheeler, ed., Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians (1884).

Additional Resources:

"Mumford, George, (Birth date unknown - 1818)." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Washington, D.C.: The Congress. (accessed May 16, 2014).

"Hon. George Mumford." Assocation for the Preservation of the Historic Congressional Cemetery.

Letter to Eunice Todd Crafts, January 1, 1819, Crafts Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 20, Special Collections, University of Vermont Library, (accessed May 16, 2014).