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learned to take the broad, sound views of public affairs and to form the high ideals of the duties of citizenship which he ever afterwards maintained. Here also he began to cultivate the tine literary taste and to acquire the choice command of language that characterized all his utterances written or spoken.
Even at this early age he gave proof of unusual mental vigoi and a decided aptness for journalism, and Mr. Ritchie frequently left to him the responsible duty of writing editorials for the Enquirer.
It was a rare privilege and also an inspiration to hear him relate his reminiscences of the many eminent Virginians he thus met and knew, among whom were Thomas Ritchie, John Hampden Pleasants, John M. Daniel and others of the same noble type. .
These early associations made a deep impression upon his character and fixed the moral plane upon which he thought and lived.
After his seven years of service in the office of the Enquirer. he accepted an offer of employment from Samuel T. Sawyer, who was about to found the Southern Argus, at Norfolk, Va., and he remained with that paper until he removed to Elizabeth City, N. C., in 1850, and established the Democratic Pioneer, which he edited until he began the study of law, in 1857.
He was a delegate to the National Democratic Convention in 1852, which nominated Franklin Pierce for President.
In 1853 he was appointed by President Pierce Collector of Customs of the port of Elizabeth City, and held this position during the administrations of Presidents Pierce and Buchanan, but resigned upon the inauguration of the Republican candidate, President Lincoln.
858 he was admitted by the Supreme Court of North Carolina to practice law, in which he was engaged at Elizabeth City, N. C., until his adopted State seceded, in 1861, when he promptly volunteered for service in the army.
He was at once ordered to fortify and defend Hatteras Inlet, and there assumed command of the Third Regiment of State Militia with the rank of colonel.
This position he held until the State troops were turned over to the Confederate States government, when he was appointed commissary of the Seventeenth Regiment of North Carolina Infantry.
He held this rank until the close of the war, but also acted as inspector-general of General James G. Martin's brigade. At one time he also acted as adjutant-general to General J. Johnston Pettigrew.
Ilis courage and zeal for the cause made him scorn to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by his position of avoiding the dangers of the battlefield, and it was his custom, after ordering the wagons to the rear, to engage in the hottest of the fight, frequently serving in the trenches and most exposed places.
He thus earned for himself the title of “the fighting commissary,” which clung to him throughout the war.
On one occasion, when ordered to attack the enemy near Shepperdsville, N. C., finding White Oak River bridge de stroyed, he acted as engineer and quickly constructed with pine trees and without nails a sort of dam across the stream, over which the command passed going to and returning from the attack. The enemy were surprised, vigorously attacked, driven out of their forts and blockhouses, abandoned their quarters and lost cannon, arms and a large quantity of supplies and prisoners.
He was in front in all the engagements in which his brigade participated, among the most noted of which were the battles around Petersburg, Bermuda Ilundred, Shepperdsville, N. C. and Second Cold Harbor, where, in General Robert F. Hoke's division, in the bloodiest battle of the war, le successfully aided in defending his birthplace from the enemy.
After the war
General Grant told General Hoke that his
suffered worse in front of Hoke's division that day, June 3, 1864, than at any time during the war.
He surrendered with General Joseph E. Johnston's army, at Greensboro, N. C.
His whole military career was marked by undaunted courage and an unfaltering devotion to the cause he had espoused, bu the modesty of his nature caused him to refrain from speaking of the many gallant and heroic deeds he performed, and it was only from the lips of others that imperfect accounts could be obtained.
The war over, he resumed the practice of the law in Currituck county, N. C., until December, 1867, when he returned to Norfolk, Va., and conducted a successful and lucrative practice until the time of his death. In 1879 he formed a copartnership with William B. Martin, which lasted until the latter was, ir 1895, elevated to the Bench, after which, with his two sons, he continued his practice as senior member of the firm of Starke & Starke.
At the Bar he was a formidable opponent and a successful advocate. He readily grasped the leading points of his client's cause and was always thoroughly prepared for the contest. His views of the matters in controversy were always clear and comprehensive, and, quickly dismissing immaterial matters, he vigorously pressed upon the attention of the court and jury the real issues on which the case turned.
In North Carolina he could cope successfully with such competitors as William N. H. Smith (afterwards Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals), Senator Biggs, Colonel James W. Hinton, and, on coming to Norfolk, he came to the front rank of a Bar which was adorned by the names of General Millson, Judge Scarburgh, Tazewell Taylor, Major Duffield, Mr. Ellis and Mr. Walke, who have passed away, and by other able lawyers, who are still living.
He was a member of the Virginia State Bar Association at its organization, at Virginia Beach, in 1888, and was always deeply interested in its meetings, which he loved to attend.
At the time of his death he had just completed his term of office as President of the Bar Association of Norfolk, Portsmouth and Norfolk county.
For years he had been an earnest and consistent Christian, and was a member of St. Luke's Episcopal church, and had served as one of its vestrymen.
He was also a zealous Mason, loved its sublime mysteries, and in his daily life worthily exemplified its tenets and precepts.
Of the broadest sympathies, everything that related to the welfare of his State or country readily engaged his attention and he always responded to the call of his people and party, and with voice and pen, boldly advocated the cause which his judgment approved as advancing their best interests.
He represented his city in the House of Delegates during the sessions of 1875-76 and 1876-77, and again in the session of 1887-88.
He had also served as a member of the City Councils and as president of its Board of Health.
Colonel Starke always retained his fondness for his early profession of journalism, and was invited by his intimate friend, the poet-editor, James Barron Hope, to become associated with him in founding the Norfolk Landmark, which became the leading newspaper of Tidewater Virginia. He was president of the Landmark Publishing Company at the time of his death.
Captain Hope and Colonel Starke were congenial knightly spirits, and their friendship, which was like that of brothers, grew closer with years, and only terminated with the death of the former.
Colonel Starke was twice married, first to Elizabeth, daughter of Dr. G. C. Marchant, of Indiantown, N. C., and again to Talitha L., daughter of John Pippen, of Edgecombe county, N. C.
Two children by his first marriage survive him-Eliza N. Starke and Elizabeth M., the wife of Judge William B. Martin, of the Court of Law and Chancery, of the city of Norfolk.
He left four children by his second marriage-Lucien D., Talitha P., Virginia Lee and William Wallace Starke.
The above imperfect sketch can give but a slight idea of the leading part that Colonel Starke played in the many stirring and important events in which he figured or of the high esteem in which he was held by all who knew him.
Honest, upright and fearless, he knew not how to dissimulate, but freely and boldly expressed his views and opinions on all subjects, social and political.
He cherished the highest opinion of the duties of citizenship, always considered a public office as a public trust, to be administered solely for the best interests of the whole community, and he deeply deplored the increasing tendency of modern times to regard office as the legitimate spoils of a clique of political schemers, to be maladministered for the sole benefit of those who have succeeded by any means in putting into the hands of their puppet a certificate of election.
His ideals were lofty and his spirit chivalrous, and he boldly maintained the right in all things and with all the ardor of his soul denounced, in most scathing terms, all that was base or
Is a friend, he was loyal and true. He never waited to be called on to render assistance, but the generous impulse of his nature prompted him to place himself unreservedly at the service of his friend, and he was never known to waver in his devotion to any cause he had
espoused. He was highly gifted as a conversationalist and in social gatherings he was usually the central figure of a circle of listeners, who were attracted and charmed by the genial flow of wit, humor and interesting anecdote that fell from his lips.
The respect and affection in which he was held by his fellowcitizens was shown by the sorrowing multitude that followed his mortal remains to their last resting place. Peace to his ashes.
Joux B. JENKINS.