General Benjamin Smith

A Biography of the North Carolina Governor

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About the Book

This biography is about one of North Carolina’s early governors, an advocate for public education in the post–Colonial period. Benjamin Smith (1757–1826) came from a distinguished South Carolina family and acquired enormous wealth in the Cape Fear region as a member of the planter class. Like his elite white peers, Smith was active in public life, in county government and as a legislator in state politics. He promoted public schools, the University of North Carolina, domestic manufacturing, banking, penal reform, and internal improvements. Earning the nickname “General” because of his militia activities, he rose to governorship but ended up dying in poverty.

About the Author(s)

Alan D. Watson is a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His articles have appeared in William and Mary Quarterly, South Carolina Historical Magazine and North Carolina Historical Review. He lives in Wilmington.

Bibliographic Details

Alan D. Watson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 255
Bibliographic Info: 21 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6156-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8528-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vi

Introduction 1

 1. South Carolinian 5

 2. Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear 24

 3. North Carolinian 34

 4. Benefactor 47

 5. Smithville 61

 6. General 74

 7. Speaker 88

 8. Francophobe 100

 9. Planter 115

10. Republican 127

11. Duelist 138

12. Adjutant General 146

13. Governor 162

14. Denouement and Death 181

15. Remembrance and Rehabilitation 198

Notes 207

Bibliography 233

Index 243