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Benjamin Williams
North Carolina

Gov. Benjamin Williams

  • November 23, 1799 - December 6, 1802
    December 1, 1807 - December 12, 1808
  • Democratic-Republican
  • January 1, 1751
  • July 20, 1814
  • North Carolina
  • Married Elizabeth Jones; one child
  • Representative
  • Army, National Guard


BENJAMIN WILLIAMS was born near Smithfield, North Carolina on January 1, 1751. His education was attained in the commons schools of his native state. Williams first entered politics in 1774, serving as a member of the state’s first revolutionary convention. From 1774 to 1775 he served as a member of the Provincial Congress. Williams served as captain in the 2nd North Carolina Continental Regiment from September 1775 until he resigned in 1778. He, afterward, commanded a North Carolina militia regiment at Camden in August 1780 as a lieutenant colonel, and the following year, commanded the Warren County militia at the battle of Guilford Courthouse as a militia colonel. After the war, he resumed his political career. He served in the North Carolina House of Commons in 1779, 1785, and 1789; was a member of the North Carolina Senate in 1780, 1781, 1784, 1786, and 1807; and served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1793 to 1795. Williams first won election to the governorship in 1799, and went on to win reelection annually until 1801. In 1807 he was reelected to one more term. During his tenure, educational improvements were lobbied for. Also, Governor Williams granted a pardon for John Stanly, who had killed former Governor Spaight in a duel. After completing his final term, Williams retired from political life. Governor Benjamin Williams passed away on July 20, 1814. He is buried on his estate, “House in the Horseshoe,” in Moore County, North Carolina.


Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources (search keyword: Governors)

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.


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