Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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ASHE, John, soldier, born in Grovely, Brunswick County, North Carolina, in 1720; died in Sampson County, 24 October 1781. He was a member of the colonial assembly for several years, and its speaker from 1762 to 1765. He warmly opposed the stamp-act, and by the aid of an armed force compelled the stamp-master to resign. In 1771 he assisted Governor Tryon in suppressing the outbreak of the regulators, although afterward he became a zealous Whig. He warmly espoused the cause of the colonists at the beginning of the war, and in 1775, at the head of 500 men, participated in the attack and destruction of Fort Johnson, for which he was publicly denounced as a rebel. He was a member of the first provincial congress of North Carolina, and subsequently raised and equipped a regiment at his own expense. On 23 April 1776, he was appointed Brigadier-General of the Wilmington district, and in the latter part of 1778 joined General Lincoln's army in South Carolina. Early in the following year he was sent to drive the British from Augusta, but on 4 March at Brier creek, he was surprised and totally defeated by the enemy under General Prevost. He then returned to Wilmington, but was captured by the British when, in 1781, that town fell into their hands. Both he and his family were cruelly treated, and he died from the effects of small-pox contracted while in prison.* His brother, Samuel, jurist, born on Cape Pear river, North Carolina, in 1725; died in Rocky Point, 3 February 1813. He was the brother of General John Ashe, and a lawyer by profession. He was a member of the council of safety and of the provincial congress of North Carolina during 1774-'6, and in 1777 was appointed chief justice, which office he held till 1796, when he became governor of the state. Although principally employed in civil capacities, yet in some of the emergencies of the times he served as a soldier.*Samuel's son, John Baptista, soldier, born in Rocky Point, North Carolina, in 1748; died in Halifax, North Carolina, 27 November 1802, became a captain in the continental army at the outbreak of the revolutionary war, and served continuously until the battle of Eutaw, where he especially distinguished himself and received the rank of colonel. He was a member of the house of commons of North Carolina in 1786, and also of the state senate in 1789 and 1795. He was a delegate to the last continental congress in 1787-'8, and member of the first and of the second congress, 1789-'93. In 1802 he was elected governor of North Carolina, but died before his inauguration.
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