|Date Born: August 8, 1740||
Date Died: December 2, 1786
|Place Born: Prince Edward County, VA||
Place Buried: James City, Craven County, NC
|Residence: Halifax County, Craven County, NC||
Abner Nash was born on August 8, 1740, in Prince Edward County, Virginia, the son of John Nash and Ann (Owen) Nash. He read law and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1757. He also began his political career there, serving in the House of Burgesses from 1761 to 1762.
Around 1763, Abner Nash moved to Hillsborough, North Carolina,
along with his younger brother Francis Nash. By 1764, he moved
to Halifax, NC to practice law, where he remained for about twelve
years. In 1764, Abner Nash was first elected to represent the
town of Halifax in the House of Burgesses of the:
In 1770, Abner Nash was first elected to represent Halifax
County in the House of Burgesses of the:
During the session of 1770, a bill was introduced to establish a seminary of learning at Charlotte. Abner Nash was appointed one of the first Trustees of Queen's Museum (later Queen's College).
While living in Halifax, Abner Nash married Justina Davis Dobbs, the widow of Royal Governor Arthur Dobbs. Justina Nash died in 1771, leaving three small children. Within a year, Abner Nash moved to New Bern and married Mary Whiting Jones, of Chowan County, the daughter of Harding and Mary Whiting Jones. They had five known children.
Abner Nash established the Pembroke plantation on the Trent River, where they all lived until the British invaded North Carolina in 1781. In August of 1781, Maj. James H. Craig sacked New Bern and Nash had to flee with his family. His home was burned and with it all the family's possessions, records, and papers.
He became active in the opposition to British imperial polices:
he served on the Committee of Safety and in several other offices.
In 1774, Abner Nash was first elected to represent the town of
New Bern in the
In 1776, Abner Nash was elected to represent the town of Hillsborough
In 1776, he helped draft the Halifax Resolves calling for independence from Great Britain.
In 1777, Abner Nash was first elected to represent the town
of New Bern in the House of Commons of the:
In 1778, Abner Nash was elected in a special election to replace
John Tillman who opted to go lead the garrison at the newly-erected
Fort Hancock - he represented Craven County in the House of Commons
In 1779, Abner Nash was elected to represent Jones County
in the NC Senate of the:
On April 20, 1780, Abner Nash was elected by the NC General Assembly as the second governor of North Carolina, succeeding Richard Caswell. His term of office as governor, extended by act of the legislature until 25 June 1781, was an unhappy one from the start. The British invaded South Carolina then North Carolina, and some of the bitterest fighting of the bloody war took place in 1780 and 1781 in the two Carolinas.
Gov. Abner Nash, finding the General Assembly and his own Council of State too dispersed and unwieldy to be of much help in guiding the State at war, requested a Board of War of three members. He soon bitterly regretted this request. Early on the members proved inadequate for their task and later actively opposed Gov. Nash, intercepting his correspondence with the generals in the field and flouting his authority as Commander-in-Chief.
He declined nomination for a second term in 1781 and became a member of the Continental Congress in 1782, serving as regularly as his health would allow until his death, on December 2, 1786, "of consumption," in New York City while attending the Congress. He was buried in St. Paul's churchyard there. Later his remains were re-interred in the family vault at Pembroke.
Abner Nash was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia, and moved to North Carolina twenty-three years later. He was elected to the North Carolina General Assembly from Halifax County. When he was elected Governor in 1780, the state lacked good defense from the Loyalists and was facing chaos from the weakness of the state constitution.
Abner Nash was born near Farmville, Prince Edward County, Virginia on August 8, 1740. His early education was attained in the common schools of his native state. After moving to North Carolina, he studied law, and then established his legal career in Halifax. Nash first entered politics in 1761, serving as a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, a position he held four years. He also served in the North Carolina Provincial Congress from 1774 to 1776; was a member of the North Carolina House of Commons in 1778; and served as a member and president of the North Carolina Senate in 1779. Nash next won election to the governor's office in 1780. During his tenure, North Carolina encountered some of the Revolutionary War's most devastating battles. Also, Nash clashed with the legislature over war issues, which led to his resignation on June 26, 1781. In his last political position, he served as a member of the Continental Congress, an office he held from 1782 to 1783. Governor Abner Nash passed away on December 2, 1786, and his final resting place was in the family graveyard near New Bern, NC.
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