north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

     Alfred Dockery, Congressman and legislator, was born in 1797 into a large family living in Richmond County. Unable to attend school regularly because of his responsibilities on the family farm, Dockery planned to become a farmer but became involved in politics at the age of twenty-five when he served in the House of Commons from his home county. Always interested in continuing to work his farm, Dockery returned to farming whenever not involved in political office.

     After his first service in the political arena, Dockery did not hold a position again until he became a delegate to the state’s Constitutional Convention of 1835. The following year he was elected to the state senate as a member of the new Whig party and served in that capacity for six terms. As a Whig, Dockery pushed for internal improvements and general reforms statewide although he focused his efforts on promoting western interests. He was also a proponent of public education, supporting a public schools bill while serving in the state senate. Among his major contributions was his involvement in the establishment of Wake Forest Institute and his service on the first board of trustees of Wake Forest College. In 1845, he was elected to Congress for one term, after which he refused to be re-elected to the same post, seeking, instead, to return to his farm.

     Dockery was elected to serve in Congress from 1851-53. He was a Unionist at a time when pro-Union sympathies were unpopular in most parts of North Carolina. However, once war was declared, Dockery quietly supported the war, sending two of his sons to fight for the Confederacy. After the war, he served in the postwar government of North Carolina and was a member of the 1865 failed state convention to end Reconstruction. A founding member of the state’s Republican Party, Dockery did not live to see the end of Reconstruction and died at home in 1873. The marker, cast in 1974, bears an erroneous date of death. Scholars now accept the 1873 date as accurate. A very involved member of the community, Dockery was remembered as an active contributor to the Baptist Church and Wake Forest College.

William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, II, 87-88—sketch by Michael J. Fawcett
James E. and Ida C. Huneycutt, A History of Richmond County (1976)
John H. Wheeler, Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians (1884): Electronic edition, Documenting the American South, University of North Carolina:
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress online at:
Location: County:

Original Date Cast:




north carolina highway historical marker program

© 2008 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources