Richmond Hill in Yadkin County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Estate and Law School of Richmond M. Pearson
Estate and Law School of
Richmond M. Pearson
Chief Justive of the N.C. Supreme Court, Teacher,
Champion of Freedom and the Rule of Law
Richmond M. Pearson moved to Yadkin from Davie County, N.C., about 1848, just before his election by the legislature to the North Carolina Supreme Court. Pearson served on the Court for 29 years, 19 of them as Chief Justice. his tenure encompassed the years of the Civil War and Reconstruction and his decisions were both far-reaching and controversial.
Pearson was opposed to secession. During the Civil War he strictly interpreted the laws and staunchly defended individual rights. Supported by Governor Zebulon Vance, he brought discomfort to the Confederate Government by his use of the writ of habeas corpus to free med he believed illegally conscripted into the army. During Reconstruction, Pearson wisely refused to invoke a posse comitatus, a group of armed citizens, when Republican Governor William W. Holden refused to enforce Pearson's writ to free imprisoned Conservatives. Nearly impeached
While serving on the Supreme Court, Pearson conducted a law school here at Richmond Hill. He is said to have taught over a thousand students and many of them became distinguished attorneys and jurists. He was renowned for his unstructured style of instruction and for holding class outdoors on the estate. On his way to Raleigh to open the 1878 term of the Supreme Court, Pearson was stricken and fell unconscious in his carriage. He was carried to the Wilson Hotel in Winston, where he died.
The original log house stood southeast of the present brick house, which was built about 1861 for Pearson's second wife, Mary McDowell Bynum. A separate kitchen once stood to the west of the main building. Log cabins inhabited by the law students were scattered about the estate.
By the 1960's the house had been uninhabited for many years and was badly deteriorated. At this time a program of restoration was initiated by Yadkin County Historical Society and others. Funds came from Federal, State and local governments, as well as from foundation, businesses, and individuals. The house has now been fully restored and is furnished with period furniture, some donated by Pearson family descendants.
Erected by Yadkin County.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Education • Government & Politics • War, US Civil.
Location. 36° 16.04′ N, 80° 36.79′ W. Marker is in Richmond Hill, North Carolina, in Yadkin County. Located beyond the terminus of Law School Road in the Historic Richmond Hill Nature Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: East Bend NC 27018, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Richmond Hill (a few steps from this marker); Rockford (approx. 2 miles away); Richmond Pearson (approx. 3.2 miles away); Reeves Homeplace (approx. 3.3 miles away); Bond School House (approx. 6.3 miles away); Bond Schoolhouse (approx. 6.3 miles away); Deep Creek Friends Meeting (approx. 6.3 miles away); Common High Flyers of Pilot Mountain (approx. 8.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richmond Hill.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on April 18, 2012, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This page has been viewed 360 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on April 18, 2012, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.