Back to former North Carolina governors
Jesse Franklin
North Carolina

Gov. Jesse Franklin

  • December 7, 1820 - December 1, 1821
  • Democratic-Republican
  • March 24, 1760
  • August 31, 1823
  • Virginia
  • Married Meeky Perkins; eight children
  • Representative, Senator
  • Army


JESSE FRANKLIN, the twentieth governor of North Carolina, was born in Orange County, Virginia on March 24, 1760. His education was limited and attained in the common schools of his native state. During the Revolutionary War, he served as a major and later earned the rank of adjutant colonel for his heroic service in the battles of King’s Mountain and Guilford Court House. Franklin first entered politics as a member of the North Carolina House of Commons, a position he held from 1793 to 1794 and 1797 to 1798. From 1795 to 1797 he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives; and from 1805 to 1806 he served in the North Carolina Senate. He also served in the U.S. Senate from 1799 to 1805 and 1807 to 1813; was senate president in 1804; and served as a commissioner that negotiated a treaty settlement with the Chickasaw Indians in 1817. Franklin next won election to the governorship in 1820. During his tenure, internal improvements as well as penal reforms were promoted; and restructuring of the state militia was endorsed. After declining to run for reelection, Franklin retired from political life. Governor Jesse Franklin passed away on August 31, 1823, and was buried in the old National Park at Guilford battleground, near Greensboro, North Carolina.


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


Recent North Carolina Governors