Iredell House, Edenton, NC
Construction began on this dwelling in 1773 for silversmith James Whedbee. James Iredell, Sr. purchased part of the property in 1778. Iredell’s contributions to “Edenton, the state, and the country are well documented. The son of a merchant in Bristol, England, Iredell came to Edenton at age seventeen as a comptroller of customs at the Port of Roanoke. In Edenton he studied law under Samuel Johnston, the future governor and U.S. Senator, and in 1773 Iredell married his mentor’s sister, Hannah. An articulate and well-read person, Iredell emerged as the most influential political essayist in Revolutionary North Carolina.
For a brief time in 1777-1778, he was a Justice in the state’s Superior Court (Supreme Court) system. From 1779 until 1781 he served as Attorney General for North Carolina, and although he returned to private law practice in 1781, he maintained an active interest in political matters.
On February 10, 1790, President George Washington appointed Iredell as an Associate Justice to the first U.S. Supreme Court. He remained on the Court until his death in 1799 in Edenton.” Both James and Hannah are buried at Hayes Plantation.
In 1949, the property was purchased by the Edenton Tea Party Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Three years later, title was transferred to the State, who undertook restoration of the home to be made available to the public.
Text taken from Edenton: An Architectural Portrait by Tom Butchko