GABRIEL HOLMES, the twenty-first governor of North Carolina, was born near Clinton, North Carolina in 1769. His education was attained at Zion Parnassus Academy, and at Harvard University. He went on to study law, and in 1790 was admitted to the bar. After establishing his legal career in his hometown of Clinton, he entered into politics. He first won election to the North Carolina House of Commons, a position he held from 1794 to 1795. He also served in the North Carolina Senate from 1797 to 1802 and 1812 to 1813. Holmes next won election to the governorship in 1821. He went on to win reelection annually until 1823. During his tenure, a school tax was promoted which was used for educational improvements; state spending was cut; and scientific farming methods were endorsed. After leaving the governor’s office, Holmes won election to the U.S. House of Representatives. He served in his congressional seat from 1825 until his death on September 26, 1829. Governor Gabriel Holmes was buried in the family cemetery on his Sampson County estate.
Note: Actual month and day of birth are not known.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress
Virtual American Biographies