Nathaniel Macon

Speaker of the House


Nathaniel Macon was born in Macon Manor, in Edgecombe (now Warren) County, North Carolina; on December 17, 1758. He attended the College of New Jersey (now Princeton) from 1774 to 1776, served briefly in the New Jersey militia and studied law for three years in North Carolina. After serving as a private in the Continental Army from 1780 to 1782, he became a state Senator for three terms. Macon opposed the US Constitution, with concerns that it gave too much power to the central government. After it was ratified and the new government was established, he became a member of the house of Representatives in 1791, chosen as Speaker of the House from 1801 to 1807. He led the Democratic-Republicans, and was a friend of Jefferson and enemy of Hamilton and the Federalists. Macon remained in the House of Representatives until 1815, when he was elected to the US Senate. He was a Senator until 1828, and was president pro tempore of the Senate the last two years of his term. In 1835, he presided over a convention to revise the North Carolina constitution. Macon died in Buck Springs, North Carolina, on June 29, 1837.