Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CASWELL, Richard, soldier, born in Maryland, 3 August, 1729; died in Fayetteville, North Carolina, 20 November, 1789. He removed to North Carolina in 1746, was for some years employed in the public offices, and afterward practiced law successfully. He was a member of the colonial assembly from 1754 till 1771, and speaker of the house of commons in 1770-'1. Identifying himself with the patriots at the beginning of the revolution, he became a colonel of militia, was a delegate to congress in 1774-'5, and treasurer of the southern district of North Carolina in 1775. For three years he was president of the provincial congress, which framed the state constitution in November, 1776, and was governor of the state during 1777-'9. On 27 February, 1776, he commanded at the battle of Moore's Creek, defeating a large body of loyalists under General McDonald, who was made prisoner--a victory of great benefit to the patriot cause in North Carolina, for which he received the thanks of congress and the appoint-merit of major general for the district of Newbern. In 1780 he led the state troops in the disastrous battle of Camden. He was chosen speaker of the senate, and comptroller-general in 1782 ; was again governor in 1'784-'6, and was a delegate to the convention that framed the federal constitution in 1787. In 1789 he was elected to the state senate from Dobbs County, and was a member of the convention that in November ratified the federal constitution. When the assembly met he was chosen speaker, and while presiding, 5 November, 1789, was struck with paralysis.~His son, William, served through the war of the revolution, and was a brigadier-general of militia in 1781.
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