Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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NASH, Abner, governor of North Carolina, born in Prince Edward county, Virginia, 8 August, 1716" died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 9 December, 1786. He removed to New-Berne, North Carolina, at an early age, practised law with success, represented that town in the first Provincial congress which met there, 25 August, 1774, and previous to the Revolution and during its continuance was active in the patriot cause. He was one of the provincial council in 1775, one of the council and committee that framed the state constitution in 1776, the first speaker of the house of commons that assembled in North Carolina, speaker of the senate in 1779, and governor from the latter year till 1781. The period of his administration was the gloomiest part of the Revolutionary war in North Carolina, and he seems to have been of too feeble health or too easy temper for such times. His first assembly, 17 April, 1780, made General Richard Caswell the commander of all the militia of the state, although by the constitution the governor was commander-in-chief, and at its session in September it appointed a board of war to manage military operations, which was a still larger invasion of his rights. At its meeting in December it made him a member only of a "council extraordinary," to which the supreme executive authority was confided. He declined to serve longer than the spring of 1781, was succeeded by Thomas Burke, and in 1782-'6 was a member of the Continental congress. His death occurred during his attendance on that body.--His brother, Francis, soldier, born in Prince Edward county, Virginia, 10 May, 1720; died in Germantown, Pennsylvania, 7 October, 1777, was clerk of the superior court of Orange county, North Carolina, held a captain's commission under the crown, and in the latter capacity served against the Regulators at the battle of Alamance in 1771. He was a member of the Provincial congress that met in Hillsborough in August, 1775, and was appointed by that body lieutenant-colonel of one of the two regiments that were then forming for the Continental service. He was commissioned brigadier-general by the Continental congress in February, 1777, joined General Washington and commanded a brigade at the battle of Germantown, where he was mortally wounded. In November of that year congress passed a resolution that a monument of the value of $500 be erected to his memory at the expense of the government, but it was never carried into effect.--Abner's son, Frederick, jurist, born in New-Berne, North Carolina, 9 February, 1781; died in Hillsborough, North Carolina, 5 December, 1858, was graduated at Princeton in 1799, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and represented New Berne in the legislature in 1813-'17. He was a judge of the superior court from 1818 till his resignation in 1824, was reelected to that office in 1836, and in 1844 was raised to the supreme bench, from the resignation of Judge Thomas Ruttin in 1852, he was chief justice of North Carolina until his death.
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