Benjamin Williams (1 January
1751 20 July 1814) was the last Federalist governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina, from 1799 to 1802 and from 1807 to 1808.
was the first of two North Carolina Governors since the American
Revolution to serve nonconsecutive terms.
was born in Johnston County, North Carolina in 1751 and became a farmer.
Elizabeth Jones on 10 August 1781; they had one son, also named
served as a member of the revolutionary convention in Johnston
County in 1774; he then served in the North Carolina Provincial
Congress and two terms in the Provincial Council.
1775, Williams was appointed to the Second North Carolina
; he served until 1781, was promoted to the rank of
, and fought at the Battle of Guilford
Williams served in the North Carolina General
during the 1780s, served one term in the United States House of
from 1793 to 1795, and was elected governor in
1799 to fill the unexpired term of William R. Davie
, who had resigned. Williams served
for three years; during his last year in office, he pardoned
Congressional Representative John
, who had killed former Gov. Richard Dobbs Spaight
in a duel
The North Carolina
of 1789 limited the post of governor to three
one-year terms within a span of six years; Williams sought
re-election to the post in 1805, but was defeated by Nathaniel Alexander
. In 1807, the
General Assembly elected him governor once again, but this time he
served only a single term of one year. Williams then retired from
politics, except for a single term in the North Carolina Senate
died in 1814 and is buried in Moore
His home, called the House in the
Horseshoe, is a tourist attraction.
- Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United
States, 1789-1978, Robert Sobel and John Raimo, eds. Westport,
CT: Meckler Books, 1978. (ISBN 0-930466-00-4)
- NC Department of Cultural Resources