Name: Alexander Martin , Gov.
Birth: ABT 1735 in Hunterdon Co., NJ
Death: 2 NOV 1807 in Danbury, Rockingham Co., NC
Fact 1776 Signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Fact 18 AUG 1775 Bondsman for marriage of Robert WALKER and Mary PROUIAL of Guilford Co. Alexander McCLARAN, wit.
Fact BET 22 APR 1782 AND 13 MAY 1785 4th U. S. Governor of NC.
>Salisbury, NC about 1760 as a merchant. In 1765 he was appointed
>Justice of the Peace, and 1766 was made King's Attorney for Rowan Co.
>Gov. Martin moved into his Danbury Plantation abt. 1773.
Stokes Co., NC
11-28-1792 NC Grant Richard Cox 640 a. Brown Mt. adj. John Deatherage,
Joshua Cox, Valentine MARTIN, John Chinault, Alexander MARTIN and John
Alexander Martin Writings and Biography
Though he represented North Carolina at the Constitutional Convention, Alexander Martin was born in Hunterdon County, NJ, in 1740. His parents, Hugh and Jane Martin, moved first to Virginia, then to Guilford County, NC, when Alexander was very young. Martin attended the College of New Jersey (later Princeton), received his degree in 1756, and moved to Salisbury. There he started his career as a merchant but turned to public service as he became justice of the peace, deputy king's attorney, and, in 1774 and 1775, judge of Salisbury district.
At the September 1770 session of the superior court at Hillsboro, 150 Regulators armed with sticks, switches, and cudgels crowded into the courtroom. They had come to present a petition to the judge demanding unprejudiced juries and a public accounting of taxes by sheriffs. Violence erupted, and several, including Alexander Martin, were beaten. In 1771 Martin signed an agreement with the Regulators to refund all fees taken illegally and to arbitrate all differences.
From 1773 to 1774 Martin served in the North Carolina House of Commons and in the second and third provincial congresses in 1775. In September 1775 he was appointed a lieutenant colonel in the 2d North Carolina Continental Regiment. Martin saw military action in South Carolina and won promotion to a colonelcy. He joined Washington's army in 1777, but after the Battle of Germantown he was arrested for cowardice. A court-martial tried and acquitted Martin, but he resigned his commission on November 22, 1777.
Martin's misfortune in the army did not impede his political career. The year after his court-martial he entered the North Carolina Senate, where he served for 8 years (1778-82, 1785, and 1787-88). For every session except those of 1778-79, Martin served as speaker. From 1780 to 1781 he also sat on the Board of War and its successor, the Council Extraordinary. In 1781 Martin became acting governor of the state, and in 1782 through 1785 he was elected in his own right.
After his 1785 term in the North Carolina Senate, Martin represented his state in the Continental Congress, but he resigned in 1787. Of the five North Carolina delegates to the Constitutional Convention, Martin was the least strongly Federalist. He did not take an active part in the proceedings, and he left Philadelphia in late August 1787, before the Constitution was signed. Martin was considered a good politician but not suited to public debate. A colleague, Hugh Williamson, remarked that Martin needed time to recuperate after his great exertions as governor "to enable him again to exert his abilities to the advantage of the nation."
Under the new national government, Martin again served as Governor of North Carolina, from 1789 until 1792. After 1790 he moved away from the Federalists to the Republicans. In 1792 Martin, elected by the Republican legislature, entered the U.S. Senate. His vote in favor of the Alien and Sedition Acts cost him reelection. Back in North Carolina, Martin returned to the state senate in 1804 and 1805 to represent Rockingham County. In 1805 he once again served as speaker. From 1790 until 1807 he was a trustee of the University of North Carolina. Martin never married, and he died on November 2, 1807 at the age of 67 at his plantation, "Danbury," in Rockingham County and was buried on the estate.
Source: National Archives and Records Administration
Rockingham Co. Will Abstracts
Will of ALEXANDER MARTIN
Will Book A, p. 44
Beneficiaries: Brothers James and Robert
Sisters Martha ROGERS and Jane HENDERSON
Brother-in-law Thomas HENDERSON
Mother Jane MARTIN
Natural son Alexander Strong MARTIN
Elizabeth STRONG -- mother of natural son
Nephews James MARTIN Jr, son of James
Alexander M. ROGERS
Alexander HENDERSON, called Capt. Henderson
Samuel A. MARTIN
Nieces Jane Cardwell MARTIN
Charity, Peg's daughter
Fanny HENDERSON, dau of Thomas
My man PRINCE -- land and freedom
My man BEN and his wife Sarah and children
Thomas SURCY (SEARCY)
Major Pleasant HENDERSON - "my silver tankard"
Col. James HUNTER
Doctor Samuel HENDERSON
Executor: Col. James HUNTER
Witnesses: Thos. LOWE, Robt. NAPIER, Batt C. LACY, W. L. LACY
Alexander Martin was a wealthy man, possessing an abundance of silverware, slaves and land. His will mentioned his plantation where he lived which was called "Danbury" and mentioned large tracts of land in many counties of North Carolina -- among them, Buncombe, Montgomery, Anson, Rowan, Wilkes, Lincoln, and Guilford. He owned large tracts in other states including what he called the Harpeth land in Tennessee.
Alexander Martin served as Governor of North Carolina three terms soon after the revolution.
1775 - British rule in North Carolina came to an end when Governor Josiah Martin
fled New Bern, North Carolina in May 1775. The Second Provincial Congress
established two regiments and a state government.
Father: Hugh Martin b: ABT 1710
Mother: Jane Hunter b: ABT 1715
Elizabeth Fields??? b: ABT 1750
- Marriage Beginning Status: Other
- Alexander Strong Martin b: 8 JUL 1787