Nathaniel Alexander

11th Governor of the State of North Carolina - 1805 to 1807

Date Born: March 5, 1756

[No Known Picture]

Date Died: March 8, 1808

Place Born: Mecklenburg County, NC

Place Buried: Old Settlers Cemetery, Charlotte, NC

Residence: Santee, SC, Mecklenburg County, NC,
Salisbury, NC.

Occupation: Physician

Nathaniel Alexander was born on March 5, 1756 in Anson (what later became Mecklenburg then Cabarrus) County, NC, the son of Moses Alexander, II and Sarah (Taylor) Alexander. Very little is known about his early life. Nathaniel Alexander studied medicine at the College of New Jersey (now known as Princeton University) where he graduated in 1776.

Nathaniel Alexander was appointed a Surgeon in the NC Continental Line in 1778 and served until 1782. Although supplies were scant and there were many injuries, he worked diligently to support his fellow countrymen during the war. After the war, Nathaniel Alexander married Margaret Polk, the daughter of Col. Thomas Polk and Susanna (Spratt) Polk of Mecklenburg County, and they had no children.

He practiced medicine in Santee, SC for a while after the war. After several years, he returned to Mecklenburg County and continued his medical practice while helping pioneer the local Masonic lodge.

In 1797, Nathaniel Alexander was elected as one of two men to represent Mecklenburg County in the House of Commons of the:
- 22nd General Assembly that met in 1797

In 1801, Nathaniel Alexander was first elected to represent Mecklenburg County in the NC Senate of the:
- 26th General Assembly that met in 1801
- 27th General Assembly that met in 1802

In 1803, Nathaniel Alexander was elected to represent North Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives, and he held this office until 1805.

The General Assembly elected Nathaniel Alexander as the next governor of North Carolina on December 10, 1805. He served two terms, and left the office on December 1, 1807. During his tenure, Gov. Alexander worked to settle a boundary dispute with Georgia while proposing liberal changes to education and internal improvements. Specifically, he worked toward the creation of better roads and inland navigation additions across the state. It is worthwhile to note that historians credit Alexander as one of the first politicians to understand the significance of education.

Gov. Alexander’s call for repeal of the Court Act of 1806 was the main reason he did not win re-election in 1807. The Act was created to reform the state’s judiciary, and it allowed for individual superior courts in every county of the state. Gov. Alexander was concerned that the extension of the number of courts would place a burden on judges and jurors. Although the Act received initial Democratic-Republican support, the mounting Federalist opposition was a reason Gov. Alexander called for repeal. Many of Gov. Alexander’s Republican supporters abandoned him at the polls, and Benjamin Williams won the governorship in 1807.

Nathaniel Alexander died in Salisbury, NC on March 8, 1808, and he was buried in the Old Settler's Cemetery of First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC. Alexander’s house in Harrisburg (Cabarrus County) sat on the site of what is now the present Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Nathaniel Alexander (5 March 1756 -- 8 March 1808) was the Democratic-Republican governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina from 1805 to 1807.

Alexander was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, the son of a local sheriff. He earned a medical degree from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1776 and was commissioned as a surgeon in the North Carolina Line in 1778. He served through the American Revolutionary War until 1782, and then practiced medicine for a time near Santee, SC.

Returning to his native North Carolina, Alexander was elected to the NC House of Commons in 1797, to the NC Senate in 1801, and to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1803.

On 25 November 1805, Nathaniel Alexander was elected governor of North Carolina by the General Assembly and served two one-year terms in that office, declining to run for a third. Although a Democratic-Republican, he enjoyed support from the Federalists as well. As governor, he oversaw the resolution of a boundary dispute with Georgia, the expansion of the state's district courts, and the growth of the state's educational system. While Governor, he was also president of the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees.

Only a few months after stepping down as Governor, Nathaniel Alexander died in Salisbury, NC; he is buried in the Old Settlers' Cemetery in Charlotte, NC.

Nathaniel Alexander was born in Mecklenburg County, NC on March 5, 1756. His education was attained at the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University), where he earned a medical degree in 1776. During the Revolutionary War he served as a surgeon's mate stationed at the Southern Department General Hospital from 1778-1782, and as a surgeon in the North Carolina militia. After his military service, he established his medical career, first in Santee, SC and later in Charlotte, NC. Alexander first entered politics as a member of the NC House of Commons, a position he held in 1797. He also served in the NC Senate from 1801 to 1802; and was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1803 to 1805. Alexander next won election to the governorship in 1805. He went on to win re-election to a second term in 1806. During his tenure, educational improvements were promoted; the state's district courts were improved; and a boundary disagreement with Georgia was settled. Also during his term, he served as President of the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees. Three months after leaving office, Gov. Nathaniel Alexander passed away on March 8, 1808. He was buried in Old Cemetery in Charlotte, NC.

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