This chapter discusses the stately white riverfront mansion the expedition passed by near the southern end of the Wilmington waterfront, just below the shops and restaurants of Chandler's Wharf. The great house was built on the site of the first colonial customshouse, around 1825, by Edward B. Dudley, the first popularly elected governor of North Carolina. Dudley was a prime mover in establishing the city as a railroad hub. He invested the princely sum of $25,000—more than half a million dollars in today's currency—in the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, which covered the incredible span of 1615 miles, and owned exactly twelve locomotives, all named after counties in eastern North Carolina. The Wilmington and Weldon would eventually play a crucial role in supplying Robert E. Lee's troops during the Civil War.
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