Copyright notice

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.

Printer-friendly page

Nadal, Edward Morse

by Hugh Buckner Johnston, 1991

2 Oct. 1843–13 Apr. 1896

Edward Morse Nadal, teacher, pharmacist, and founder of the North Carolina Pharmaceutical Association, was the only child of Captain Peter Edward and Sarah Morse Nadal of Washington, N.C. After settling in Wilson about 1858 with his mother and stepfather-uncle, Anthony Nadal, he attended the Horner School at Oxford for a year or more before enlisting on 14 May 1862 under Captain Joseph J. Lawrence of "The Wilson Partisan Rangers," who were known by 11 July 1864 as Company F. Sixteenth Battalion, North Carolina Cavalry.

As a sergeant Nadal was captured at Fort Harrison on 30 Set. 1864 and soon was incarcerated in the over-crowded Federal military prison at Point Lookout, Md. Paroled on 15 Feb. 1865 at Boulware's Wharf on the James River, he proceeded to Camp Lee near Richmond and scouted with the cavalry until receiving news of General Robert E. Lee's surrender. His parole was secured from the Federal forces stationed at Goldsboro from then until the end of Reconstruction. During this period, while teaching in the Wilson Male and Female institutes, he was active in the local Ku Klux Klan. In 1873 he joined the Masonic order, rising to senior warden, master, and knight templar; he also became an active member of the then-popular Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

From 1874 to 1878, while teaching mathematics at the Wilson Collegiate Institute and basic courses at "the free school" for poor children several weeks each summer, Nadal served as Wilson County surveyor. One of his projects was to lay out the original area of Maplewood Cemetery. About that time he also became associated with the firm of Moses T. Moye, Drugs and Seeds, successor (ca. 1875) to Dr. Joseph J. Lawrence and the brothers Cullen and Jesse Battle, which was known by 1880 as Moye and Nadal and after 1883 as E. M. Nadal, Wholesale and Retail Druggist, on Tarboro Street.

On 17 May 1880 Nadal circulated a letter among North Carolina pharmacists urging them to support the establishment of a state pharmaceutical association and passage of "a law requiring that Druggists shall have a license from the State Board of Medical Examiners." Nearly one hundred pharmacists attended the convention held in the senate chamber at Raleigh on 11 Aug. 1880 and elected Nadal by unanimous vote to serve as their first president. Governor Thomas J. Jarvis appointed him to the North Carolina State Board of Pharmacy on 27 Apr. 1881, while the General Assembly formally incorporated the new North Carolina Pharmaceutical Association by an act of 12 March. The first Nadal's Almanac was published at Wilson in 1884.

Nadal remained on the state board until 1890. He also served as chairman of the committee on the pharmacopoeia revision in 1889, delegate to the American Pharmaceutical Association in 1888 and 1890, and member of various important committees such as that of the examining board. While serving on the committee on papers and queries, he wrote and presented at least one paper. Soon after Governor Elias Carr had honored Nadal with the commission of major of the Second Regiment of the North Carolina State Militia, the pharmacist was fatally stricken by peritonitis.

About 1871 Nadal married Margaret M. (Maggie) Fentress (2 Nov. 1850–31 Dec. 1907), and their only surviving child was Ernest Fentress (3 Jan. 1872–11 July 1922). The families of Anthony and Edward Nadal were among the first Presbyterians in Wilson and helped organize the Wilson Presbyterian Church on 5 July 1885.

Nadal was buried in Maplewood Cemetery, Wilson.


Josephus Daniels, Tar Heel Editor (1939).

Proceedings of the Convention of Druggists, Held in Raleigh, N.C., August 11, 1880 (1880).

Wilson Advance, 16 Apr. 1896.