Open main menu

Charles R. Thomas (1861–1931)

  (Redirected from Charles Randolph Thomas)

Charles Randolph Thomas (August 21, 1861 – March 8, 1931), son of Charles R. Thomas (1827-1891), was a North Carolina attorney and politician. Like his father, he served as a U.S. Representative in Congress from North Carolina. Whereas his father had joined the Republican Party after the American Civil War, the younger Charles Thomas was a Democrat.

Early life and educationEdit

Thomas was born in Beaufort, North Carolina, August 21, 1861; attended New Bern (N.C.) Academy and Emerson Institute, in Washington, D.C. while his father was in office. Thomas was graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1881.

He studied law with his father and at the law offices of Judges R.P. Dick and John H. Dillard at Greensboro, N.C. He was admitted to the bar in 1882 and commenced practice in New Bern, NC.


Quickly becoming involved in politics, Thomas was elected to a term in the North Carolina House of Representatives (1887). He served as county attorney for Craven County (1890–1896). The North Carolina legislature named him a trustee of the University of North Carolina in 1893.

Following passage of the new disfranchising constitution, which suppressed black voting, Thomas was elected as a Democrat from North Carolina's 2nd congressional district to the Fifty-sixth and to the five succeeding Congresses (serving March 4, 1899 – March 3, 1911). It was formerly known as the "Black Second", as it contained a high proportion of black residents.

He was not renominated in 1910, although he was one of five candidates at the nominating convention in Goldsboro. After 446 ballots in which nobody received a majority, John M. Faison was nominated on the 447th ballot.[1]

Thomas returned to the practice of law. He served briefly as a superior court judge. He died in Norfolk, Virginia, on March 8, 1931. He is buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery.[2]


  1. ^ "Loses After 447 Ballots", Washington Post, July 7, 1910, p3
  2. ^ Find A Grave: Cedar Grove Cemetery

External linksEdit