The American Revolution in North Carolina

The North Carolina Council of State


One of the last acts of the final 1776 Provincial Congress was the creation of this new body politic, with a loosely defined purpose of assisting the Executive and Legislative branches in governing the new state, "with such powers and authority as they are respectively vested with by the form of government established by this Congress and no other whatsoever, except what is or may be given by any Resolve or Ordinance of this Congress."

Cornelius Harnett, Chairman

James Glasgow, Secretary

William Dry

William Haywood

Edward Starkey

Joseph Leech

Thomas Eaton

Thomas Person

James Azents

James Coor

Martin Ferry

Jacob Blount


This group met on: January 11th, February 12th, March 6th, April 7th, May XX, June 11th, July 8th, August 4th, September 2nd, Oct. XX, and Nov. 27th. Not all members assembled for each meeting.

As the year progressed, the following were added to the Council. No mention of any deletions. However, since Cornelius Harnett was elected to go to Philadelphia as a delegate to the Continental Congress, it is likely that he no longer served as chairman.

February - Charles Forbes
April - William Cray, William Taylor
June - Thomas Bonner


On April 17, 1778, the North Carolina General Assembly elected the new Council of State for the year of 1778:

Joseph Leech

Thomas Bonner

William Cray

Edward Starkey

Robert Bignall

Richard Henderson

William Haywood

-

At some time, William Cray died. The General Assembly elected Frederick Jones to replace him on 2/4/1779. On May 4th, the General Assembly elected the new Council of State for the year of 1779:


Joseph Leech

Robert Bignall

John Sampson

John Simpson

Thomas Respess, Sr.

Isaac Guion

William Whitfield

-
During the October-November, 1779, session, the General Assembly elected two new members of the Council of State - Waightstill Avery and Edward Starkey. Apparently, John Sampson and Thomas Respess declined their earlier selection.


This Author has not been able to determine who were elected to the Council of State during 1780. 


On June 26, 1781, the General Assembly elected a new Council of State:

Philemon Hawkins, Jr.*

Spruce McCoy

Willie Jones

Benjamin Seawell

John Penn

John Butler

Edward Jones

--
*Hawkins declined to serve. His position was back-filled with Whitmell Hill on July 11th.


On May 3, 1782, the General Assembly elected members for the Council of State: Richard Henderson, Allen Jones, Spruce McCoy, Philemon Hawkins, Jr., Griffith Rutherford, Benjamin Seawell, and John Penn.

Richard Henderson

Allen Jones

Spruce McCoy

Philemon Hawkins, Jr.

Griffith Rutherford

Benjamin Seawell

John Penn

--


On May 9, 1783, the General Assembly elected five members of the Council of State:

James Saunders

Nathaniel Macon

Spruce McCoy

Philemon Hawkins, Jr.

Thomas Polk

--
On May 12, 1783, they added two more:

Robert Burton

Marquis DeBretigny




© 2012 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved