Joshua Whitner Ashley

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Born December 16, 1848, Honey Path, Carolina; died April 28, 1916, Columbia, Carolina

Member of Carolina Provincial Parliament from 1892-1904 and 1906-1912, the two-year intermission happening when he ran for the NAL Senate, in which campaign he was defeated. Though he had only six weeks of formal education, he had an exceptional grasp of language, and served with distinction and popularity.

Famous for this anecdote: Having been outside the chamber for most of the debate on a compulsory school law, he came in just in time to hear someone comment that 'this compulsory law is essential'. Stopping dead in his tracks, he called out, "Mr. Speaker! Mr. Speaker, I'm agin' anything compulsory! This here's a free land we's living in! Ain't nobody got the right to force nobody else to do what he don't want to do! I move that this bill, whatever it is, be tabled!". The bill was, in the end, defeated.

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