North Carolina: State Governors: 1776-1830

Governor, Captain General and Commander-in-Chief of the State of North Carolina
23 Dec 1776 - 21? Apr 1780 Richard Caswell (x) [1]
21? Apr 1780 - 26 Jun 1781 Abner Nash [2][3]
26 Jun 1781 - 25? Apr 1782 Thomas Burke [4]
25? Apr 1782 - 13 May 1785 Alexander Martin [5]
13 May 1785 - 20 Dec 1787 Richard Caswell (x)
20 Dec 1787 - 17 Dec 1789 Samuel Johnston
17 Dec 1789 - 14 Dec 1792 Alexander Martin (x)
14 Dec 1792 - 19 Nov 1795 Richard Dobbs Spaight
19 Nov 1795 - 7 Dec 1798 Samuel Ashe
7 Dec 1798 - 23 Nov 1799 William Richardson Davie
23 Nov 1799 - 27 Nov 1802 Benjamin Williams [6]
28 Nov 1802 - 6 Dec 1802 office vacant [7]
6 Dec 1802 - 5 Dec 1805 James Turner [8]
6 Dec 1805 - 10 Dec 1805 office vacant [7]
10 Dec 1805 - 1 Dec 1807 Nathaniel Alexander
1 Dec 1807 - 12 Dec 1808 Benjamin Williams (x)
12 Dec 1808 - 5 Dec 1810 David Stone
5 Dec 1810 - 9 Dec 1811 Benjamin Smith
9 Dec 1811 - 7 Dec 1814 William Hawkins
7 Dec 1814 - 6 Dec 1817 William Miller
6 Dec 1817 - 7 Dec 1820 John Branch
7 Dec 1820 - 7 Dec 1821 Jesse Franklin
7 Dec 1821 - 7 Dec 1824 Gabriel Holmes
7 Dec 1824 - 8 Dec 1827 Hutchins Gordon Burton
8 Dec 1827 - 12 Dec 1828 James Iredell
12 Dec 1828 - 18 Dec 1830 John Owen

[1] Appointed by "An Ordinance for appointing a Governor, Council of State, and Secretary, until next General Assembly" (passed by the Congress 20 Dec 1776) "to enter upon the Execution of his Office immediately after the Dissolution of this Congress" (23 Dec 1776) [North Carolina Fifth Congress Journals, 54, 71; North Carolina Colonial Records, 10:1013]
[2] As the journals of the General Assembly of North Carolina for 1780 are not known to be in existence, the dates of election and swearing-in of Nash are conjectural and based on his correspondence and indirect evidence found in a few copies of the preserved Assembly resolutions.
[3] Captain General and Governor-in-Chief in and over the Province of North Carolina (in opposition)
  3 Oct 1780 - after 18 Apr 1781 Josiah Martin (x)
[4] Captured by the British 12 Sep 1781 - 30 Jan 1782; Alexander Martin exercised his duties as Speaker of the Senate, Captain General and Commander in Chief, for the Time being, in and over the said State (5 Oct 1781 - 30 Jan 1782).
[5] Elected 22 Apr 1782 and took an oath of office on or soon after 25 Apr 1782; swearing-in ceremony is not recorded in the General Assembly journals, but the joint address for the inauguration on behalf of the Assembly is indicated as being agreed in the morning of 25 Apr 1782 [North Carolina State Records, 16:39, 19:17-18, 19:29-30]
[6] A farewell address sent by Williams to the General Assembly on 27 Nov 1802 is marked as his "last official act" in the text of the address. The date is most probably selected to mark the expiration of his third one-year term which commenced 28 Nov 1801 upon his swearing-in. The journal of the Senate of 29 Nov 1802 refers to him as "Benjamin Williams, Esquire, late Governor of this State".
[7] The Constitution of North Carolina of 1776 did not provide for a substitution during the vacancy in the office of Governor.
[8] In a message to the General Assembly (dated Raleigh, 5 Dec 1805), Turner informed the legislators that he considers 5 Dec 1805 as the end of his term since his first inauguration was held 6 Dec 1802 and he thinks that his term would expire with the end of 5 Dec 1805. The Governor asked to appoint a person to receive the Great Seal of the State and other documents from him and the General Assembly agreed to send the Secretary of State for that purpose.
Last updated on: 24 Jul 2016 02:59:36