John Heritage Bryan (1798-1870) was born in New Bern, NC, educated at New Bern Academy and the University of North Carolina, where he received a BA degree in 1815 and an MA in 1819. A lawyer, he served in the NC Senate in 1823 and 1824, then was elected to the US Congress in 1825. Bryan chose not to run for reelection after Andrew Jackson was elected President. He returned to North Carolina and remained active in the Whig party. He married Mary Williams Sheperd in 1821. The couple had fourteen children, including seven sons who graduated from the University (Dictionary of North Carolina Biography 1:255-56). Bryan served as a University trustee from 1823 to 1868.