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Illinois State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1858 and 1859
| Macon county derived its name from Hon. Nathaniel Macon, of North Carolina,
whose fame, at the time of the formation of the county extended throughout the nation. He was born in Warren County,
N. C., in 1757. and died in the same county, June 29th, 1837. He was educated at Princeton, N. J. [ed., College
of New Jersey, now Princeton University], and was there at the opening of the War of the Revolution. In 1777 he
left college, and served for a short time as a private in a company of volunteers.
At the expiration of his term of service, he commenced the study of law, but soon re-enlisted in the army under his brother, John. He continued in the service until peace was declared. He was present at the fall of Charleston. For all his arduous services in the war, he steadily refused compensation, nor would he accept a pension after the government had provided one.
Before he left the army he had been elected to the State Senate, in which he served until 1785. When the Constitution of the United States was proposed, he, like Patrick Henry, thought it "squinted too much in the direction of monarchy," and therefore opposed its adoption.
He thought the general government proposed was too independent of the States. Mr. Macon was elected to the lower house of Congress in 1791, where he continued to serve until 1815, serving as Speaker from 1801 to 1806. From the lower house he was transferred to the U. S. Senate, in 1816, where he remained until 1828, and was President pro tem. of that body in 1825-7. He was thirty-seven years in Congress, uninterruptedly—the longest continuous service of any one man.
Twice during Jefferson's administration he declined the office of Postmaster General.
He was a Democrat in politics, and had an earnest conviction in the ability of the people for self-government. Jefferson said he was "the last of the old Romans," and Randolph called him "the wisest man he ever knew." In his temperament he was a stoic, disregarding style and conventionalities, and in all things practiced the strictest economy.
[Smith, J. W. (1876). History of Macon County, Illinois, from its organization to 1876. Springfield, Ill: Rokker's Printing]