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Home North Carolina Wake County City of Raleigh Historical Markers Thomas R. Jernigan 1847-1920

Thomas R. Jernigan 1847-1920

McDowell Street at Cabarrus Street, Raleigh, NC, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 35° 46' 27.6672", -78° 38' 31.29"
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"U.S. negotiator in China for 30 years. Consul in Japan and China. Editor, author, and lawyer. His home was 2 blocks E."
     In his position as a foreign service officer in Japan and China in the late nineteenth century, Thomas R. Jernigan brought better understanding between the United States and Asia. Born in Hertford County, Jernigan served in the Confederate army and graduated from the University of Virginia before commencing law practice in Winton. He represented his home district in State Senate in 1874-75 after a defeat in bid for election to the State House.

     Jernigan’s first position abroad was as a consul (appointed by President Grover Cleveland) to Kobe, Japan, from 1885 to 1889, after which he returned to North Carolina to edit the North Carolina Intelligencer, a newspaper in Raleigh. His home in the Capital City stood near the present-day site of the Raleigh convention center. From 1893 to 1897 he served as consul general (again an appointment by Cleveland) in Shanghai, acting as chairman of the International Settlement board for much of that time. At the close of his term he elected to remain in China where he worked as an attorney for Standard Oil Company. Jernigan was the author of a number of books dealing with China, among them China in Law and Commerce, China’s Business Methods and Policy, and Shooting in China. Late in life he became deaf. He counted Sun Yet-sen (1866-1928) among his friends and is buried in Nanking, China, near the Chinese leader’s family plot.

Benjamin B. Winborne, The Colonial and State History of Hertford County, North Carolina (1906)
The Ahoskie Era of Hertford County (1939)
William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, III, 280-281—sketch by Thomas R. J. Newbern
Related Themes: C.S.A., Confederate States of America, Confederacy
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Thomas R. Jernigan 1847-1920 Historical Marker Location Map, Raleigh, North Carolina