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Senator Asa Biggs

File:Asa Biggs historical marker 83d40m West Main and North Smithwick Streets Williamston North Carolina.jpg

Historical marker in Williamston, North Carolina giving directions to the designated home of Asa Biggs

Asa Biggs (February 4, 1811 – March 6, 1878) was a North Carolina politician who held a number of positions. He was a U.S. Representative, a U.S. Senator, and federal judge.

Biggs was born in Williamston, Martin County, North Carolina. He read law, was admitted to the bar in 1831, and commenced practice in Williamston. He was a member of the North Carolina state constitutional convention in 1835, the state house of commons from 1840 to 1842, and the state senate from 1844 to 1845.

Biggs was elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-ninth Congress and served from March 4, 1845 to March 3, 1847, but was unsuccessful in his bid for re-election in 1846. In 1851 he became a member of the commission to codify the North Carolina state laws. His role in codifying the laws of North Carolina is the most distinctive aspect of his historical importance.

He was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1855 and served from March 4, 1855 until May 5, 1858, when he resigned to accept an appointment to the United States District Court for the District of North Carolina by President James Buchanan to a seat vacated by Henry Potter. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 3, 1858, and received his commission the same day.

He served as judge of that district court until April 23, 1861, as a member of the secession convention of North Carolina in 1861, and as a Confederate judge from 1861 to 1865. He supported secession and believed the action to be legal according to the United States constitution.

Following his service as a judge, Biggs resumed the practice of law in Tarboro, Edgecombe County, North Carolina in 1865.

In 1869 he moved to Norfolk, Virginia. He continued the practice of law in that community until his death on March 6, 1878. He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery.


  • Dictionary of American Biography; Biggs, Asa. Autobiography of Asa Biggs, Including a Journal of a Trip from North Carolina to New York in 1832. Edited by Robert D. W. Connor. North Carolina Historical Commission Publications. Bulletin No. 19. Raleigh: * Edwards and Broughton Printing Company, 1915.
  • Template:FJC Bio
  • Template:Congbio Retrieved on 2009-03-23
  • Autobiography of Asa Biggs, Including a Journal of a Trip from North Carolina to New York in 1832. Raleigh, [N.C.]: Edwards & Broughton, 1915.

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