The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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William Hill, who survives him, with two married daughters and a son.

        Governor Samuel Ashe, son of John Baptista Ashe, (born 1725--died 1813) was educated at Harvard, and studied law. He, however, served throughout the Revolutionary War, in various military and civil capacities.

        He was a Member of the Provincial Congress at Hillsboro, on August 21, 1775, and one of the council of thirteen to whom the government of common wealth was committed. He was also a member of the convention that met at Halifax, on April 4, 1776, and also of the same, in November, 1776, which formed the State Constitution.

        In 1777 he was chosen one of the three Judges under the State Government, John Williams and Samuel Spencer, being the others, which he resigned on being elected Governor of the State, 1795.

        As a Judge he was firm, upright in character, clear-headed and progressive. In the case of Bayard and wife against Singleton, the idea was first enunciated by him that the courts had the power to pronounce a Statute of the Legislature unconstitutional. To those who had been trained to assert the omnipotence of the British Parliament, this seemed little short of treason; but it is now settled law and considered as one of the bulwarks of liberty.

        He married first Mary Porter, and afterwards Mrs. Elizabeth Merrick, by whom he had

        Thomas, who married Davis--whose son, Pascal Paoli was the father of Judge Thomas S. Ashe whose biography we have already given.

        By his first wife he had

        I. John Baptista Ashe.

        II. Samuel. He died in 1813, and was buried at the Neck Plantation, where many of the descendants of the name, now

        "Sleep the sleep that knows no waking."

        John Baptista Ashe (born 1748--died 1795,) son of Governor Samuel Ashe, was distinguished as a soldier and a statesman. Early in the Revolution, he was appointed a captain in the 6th Regiment of Continental Troops (Colonel A. Lillington's). He had previously been under fire at Alamance in 1771, and was badly treated by the Regulators. He was with General Greene at the hard fought battle of the Eutaws (September 1781).

        After the close of the war he was elected to that august body, the Continental Congress, in 1787, and a member of the First Congress of the United States--1789 to '91, and re-elected to the next Congress, 1791-93.

        During his career in the Continental and United States Congress he displayed the same untiring opposition to sectional power, that had characterized the name of Ashe. Fisher Ames of Massachusetts, was a Member of Congress with Ashe, and their views were antagonistic. One, intensely northern; the other, southern. On calling the roll, this became so noticeable that some one wrote--

        "Fisher Ames and others say Aye, John Baptista Ashe says Nay."

        In 1795, he was elected from Halifax to the Legislature, and by that body elected Governor, but died before being inaugurated, leaving one son.

        Samuel Ashe, the son of Governor Samuel Ashe, (born 1763--died 1835), was brave, modest, and unobtrusive. He early entered the army, and served to the close of the war. The following is copied from the records of the Pension Bureau, which relates in a brief and modest manner his military service.

        Samuel Ashe, on June 10, 1828, filed an application under Act of 1822 and declared that he was an officer of the Continental Line of the Revolution as Lieutenant, and served as such to the end of the war, (sworn to before Thomas F. Davis, Clerk of Court of Pleas for New Hanover county, North Carolina.)

        A letter is on file with this application by Mr. Ashe, which states "he in the early part of 1779, being about seventeen years of age, received a subaltern's commission in the 6th Regiment of
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