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William Hawkins
North Carolina

Gov. William Hawkins

  • December 11, 1811 - November 29, 1814
  • Democratic-Republican
  • October 10, 1777
  • May 17, 1819
  • North Carolina
  • Married Ann Swepson Boyd; seven children


WILLIAM HAWKINS was born in Pleasant Hill, North Carolina on October 10, 1777. His early education was attained in the common schools of his native state. He went on to study law in Philadelphia and North Carolina, and afterwards established his legal career in Warren County, North Carolina. He also worked as an assistant Indian agent at Fort Hawkins, Georgia, and was a negotiator for a disagreement with the Tuscarora Indians in 1801. Hawkins first entered politics as a member of the North Carolina House of Commons, a position he held from 1804 to 1805 and 1809 to 1811. He also served as speaker of the house from 1810 to 1811. Hawkins won election to the governorship in 1811, and went on to win reelection to a second term in 1812, as well as to a third term in 1813. During his tenure, troops and provisions were raised for the War of 1812, and industrial development was promoted. After leaving the governorship, Hawkins retired from political life. However, he returned briefly in 1817, when he won reelection to the North Carolina House of Commons. Governor William Hawkins passed away on May 17, 1819, and was buried in Sparta, Georgia.


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

Notable Names Database

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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