Abner Nash

Last updated

Abner Nash
2nd Governor of North Carolina
In office
April 20, 1780 June 26, 1781
Preceded by Richard Caswell
Succeeded by Thomas Burke
Personal details
Born(1740-08-08)August 8, 1740
Prince Edward County, Colony of Virginia, British America
DiedDecember 2, 1786(1786-12-02) (aged 46)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyNone

Abner Nash (August 8, 1740 December 2, 1786) was the second Governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina between 1781 and 1782, and represented North Carolina in the Continental Congress from 1782 to 1786.

Governor of North Carolina head of state and of government of the U.S. state of North Carolina

The governor of North Carolina is the head of state and head of government of the U.S. state of North Carolina. The governor directs the executive branch of the government and is the commander in chief of the military forces of the state. The current governor, Democrat Roy Cooper took office on January 1, 2017, and had a public swearing-in ceremony on January 7, 2017.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders.

North Carolina U.S. state in the United States

North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. North Carolina is the 28th largest and 9th-most populous of the 50 United States. It is bordered by Virginia to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Georgia and South Carolina to the south, and Tennessee to the west. Raleigh is the state's capital and Charlotte is its largest city. The Charlotte metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 2,569,213 in 2018, is the most populous metropolitan area in North Carolina, the 23rd-most populous in the United States, and the largest banking center in the nation after New York City. North Carolina's second largest metropolitan area is the Raleigh metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 1,337,331 in 2018, and is home to the largest research park in the United States, Research Triangle Park, in Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh.


Life story

Nash was born in Prince Edward County in the Colony of Virginia. He read law and was admitted to the bar in Virginia. He also began his political career there, serving in the House of Burgesses from 1761 to 1765, before moving to New Bern, North Carolina. He married the widow of former colonial governor Arthur Dobbs. [1] [2] [3]

Prince Edward County, Virginia U.S. county in Virginia

Prince Edward County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 23,368. Its county seat is Farmville.

Colony of Virginia English/British possession in North America (1608–1776)

The Colony of Virginia, chartered in 1606 and settled in 1607, was the first enduring English colony in North America, following failed proprietary attempts at settlement on Newfoundland by Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1583, and the subsequent further south Roanoke Island by Sir Walter Raleigh in the late 1580s.

New Bern, North Carolina City in North Carolina, United States

New Bern is a city in Craven County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 29,524, which had risen to an estimated 30,242 as of 2013. It is the county seat of Craven County and the principal city of the New Bern Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Nash was an active supporter of the revolutionary cause. He represented New Bern in the rebel "provincial congress" assembled from 1774, and in 1776 was a member of the committee that drafted the state's new constitution. He became a member of the North Carolina House of Commons in 1777 (serving as the first Speaker of that house) and the State Senate in 1779. [2] [3]

The North Carolina Provincial Congresses were extra-legal unicameral legislative bodies formed in 1774 through 1776 by the people of the Province of North Carolina, independent of the British colonial government. There were five congresses. They met in the towns of New Bern, Halifax, and Hillsborough (3rd). The 4th conference approved the Halifax Resolves a set of resolutions that empowered the state's delegates to the Second Continental Congress to concur in the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. The 5th conference approved the Constitution of North Carolina and elected Richard Caswell as governor of the State of North Carolina. After the 5th conference, the new North Carolina General Assembly met in April 1777.

The Constitution of the State of North Carolina governs the structure and function of the state government of North Carolina, one of the United States; it is the highest legal document for the state and subjugates North Carolina law. All U.S. state constitutions are, according to the United States Supreme Court, subject to federal judicial review; any provision can be nullified if it, in the view of a majority of the Justices of the Supreme Court, constituted from time to time, conflicts with the US Constitution or any federal law pursuant to the Constitution, even if the identical language was previously upheld as valid by the court.

Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives

The Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives is the presiding officer of one of the houses of the North Carolina General Assembly. The Speaker is elected by the members of the house when they convene for their regular session in January of each odd-numbered year. Perhaps the most important duty of the Speaker is to appoint members and chairs of the various standing committees of the House.

He was elected Governor by the legislature in 1780. During his brief tenure as governor, North Carolina saw some of its worst conflicts as a battleground in the American Revolutionary War. Unlike his brother Francis, his temper and poor health were poorly suited to the needs of war. This brought him into difficulty with the legislature. The assembly appointed Richard Caswell as commander-in-chief (Major General) of the North Carolina militia and State troops, even though the constitution assigned this responsibility to the governor. Then in December 1780 they named a Council Extraordinary that further encroached on his office. Consequently, Nash resigned and went home in the spring of 1781. Thomas Burke was named to replace him. [2] [3]

American Revolutionary War War between Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies, which won independence as the United States of America

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, was an 18th-century war between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies which declared independence in 1776 as the United States of America, and then formed a military alliance with France in 1778.

Francis Nash was a brigadier general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Prior to the war, he was a lawyer, public official, and politician in Hillsborough, North Carolina, and was heavily involved in opposing the Regulator movement, an uprising of settlers in the North Carolina piedmont between 1765 and 1771. Nash was also involved in North Carolina politics, representing Hillsborough on several occasions in the colonial North Carolina General Assembly.

Richard Caswell American general and Governor of North Carolina

Richard Caswell was the first and fifth governor of the U.S. State of North Carolina, serving from 1776 to 1780 and from 1785 to 1787. He was also major general over all North Carolina militia in 1780 and from 1781 to 1783.


Later in 1782, North Carolina eased political tensions by sending Nash as a delegate to the Continental Congress. He would serve there the rest of his life, as he died at a session in New York City. Abner was originally buried in St. Paul's Churchyard in Manhattan, but his body was later returned for burial in a private, family plot in Craven County, North Carolina. [2] [3]

Continental Congress convention of delegates that became the governing body of the United States

The Continental Congress was initially a convention of delegates from a number of British American colonies at the height of the American Revolution, who spoke and acted collectively for the people of the Thirteen Colonies that ultimately became the United States of America. After declaring the colonies independent from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, it acted as the provisional governing structure for the collective United States, while most government functions remained in the individual states. The term most specifically refers to the First Continental Congress of 1774 and the Second Continental Congress of 1775–1781. More broadly, it also refers to the Congress of the Confederation of 1781–1789, thus covering the three congressional bodies of the Thirteen Colonies and the United States that met between 1774 and the inauguration of a new government in 1789 under the United States Constitution.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Craven County, North Carolina U.S. county in North Carolina

Craven County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 103,505. Its county seat is New Bern. The county was created in 1705 as Archdale Precinct from the now-extinct Bath County. It was renamed Craven Precinct in 1712 and gained county status in 1739. It is named for William, Earl of Craven, who lived from 1606-1697.


His son, Frederick Nash, was also a lawyer and political leader. He would serve as Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Another descendant, also named Frederick, would later become a famous poet, going by his middle name, Ogden Nash.

Frederick Nash was an American lawyer and jurist from Hillsborough, North Carolina. He served on the North Carolina Supreme Court and was its chief justice from 1852 until his death.

North Carolina Supreme Court American judge

The Supreme Court of the State of North Carolina is the state's highest appellate court. Until the creation of the North Carolina Court of Appeals in the 1960s, it was the state's only appellate court. The Supreme Court consists of six associate justices and one chief justice, although the number of justices has varied from time to time. The primary function of the Supreme Court is to decide questions of law that have arisen in the lower courts and before state administrative agencies.

Ogden Nash American poet

Frederic Ogden Nash was an American poet well known for his light verse, of which he wrote over 500 pieces. With his unconventional rhyming schemes, he was declared the country's best-known producer of humorous poetry.

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  1. Authur Dobbs Esquire 1689–1765
  2. 1 2 3 4 Nash, Jaquelin Drane (1991). "Abner Nash". NCPedia. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Angley, Wilson (2004). "Abner Nash". NCPedia. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
Political offices
Preceded by
Richard Caswell
Governor of North Carolina
Succeeded by
Thomas Burke