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Thomas Burke
North Carolina

Gov. Thomas Burke

  • June 26, 1781 - April 22, 1782
  • January 1, 1747
  • December 2, 1783
  • Other
  • Representative


THOMAS BURKE was born in Galway, Ireland in 1747. His education was attained in Ireland, where he studied medicine. After immigrating to the United States in 1764, he studied law in Virginia, and then established his legal career in Norfolk. Burke entered into politics after moving to North Carolina in 1771. He served as a delegate to the 1775 and 1776 state conventions; was a member of the State House of Commons in 1777; and served as a member of the Continental Congress from 1777 to 1781. Burke next won election to the governorship in 1781. During his tenure, war issues consumed the majority of his term. On September 13, 1781 he was captured in a Tory raid led by David Fanning, and subsequently was imprisoned on James Island, near Charleston, South Carolina. Four months into his captivity, he escaped. He then returned to North Carolina and resumed his gubernatorial duties. Governor Thomas Burke never fully recovered from his days in prison and passed away on December 2, 1783. He was buried in the Mars Hill Churchyard near Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Note: Actual month and day of birth are not known.


Recent North Carolina Governors