Samuel Ashe (North Carolina)
|Governor of North Carolina|
|Preceded by||Richard Dobbs Spaight, Sr.|
|Succeeded by||William Richardson Davie|
March 24, 1725|
Beaufort, Carteret County
North Carolina, British colony
|Died||February 3, 1813(aged 87)|
|Spouse(s)||(1) Mary Porter Ashe (married 1748; she died)
(2) Elizabeth Merrik Ashe
Ashe was born in Beaufort, North Carolina. His father, John Baptista Ashe, and brother, John Ashe, both served as Speaker of the North Carolina Colonial Assembly, or House of Burgesses. Ashe became an orphan at the age of nine. He married Mary Porter in 1748; they had three children, including John Baptista Ashe, who would serve in the Continental Congress. After Mary died, Ashe remarried, this time to the former Elizabeth Merrik.
Ashe studied law and was named Assistant Attorney for the Crown in the Wilmington district of the colony.
He became involved in the revolutionary movement and served in the North Carolina Provincial Congress and as a member of the North Carolina militia. For a little more than one month in 1776, Ashe served as president of the Council of Safety, the state's executive authority. He was also appointed to the committee that drafted the first North Carolina Constitution. In 1776, he was elected to the new North Carolina Senate and was elected its first speaker. The following year, Ashe was appointed presiding judge of the state Superior Court, a post which he held until 1795.
In 1795, the General Assembly elected him governor at the age of 70. He served three one-year terms, the maximum constitutional limit, before retiring in 1798. Ashe continued to remain active in politics after his term as governor, serving as a member of the United States Electoral College in 1804, when his fellow Democrat-Republican, Thomas Jefferson, was reelected over Federalist Charles C. Pinckney.
Ashe's grandson, William Ashe, was a Confederate soldier in the American Civil War, and a son of John B. and the former Eliza Hay. He was killed at Shiloh in Tennessee in 1862, a battle in which William's brother, Samuel Swann Ashe, also fought.
- Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789–1978, Robert Sobel and John Raimo, eds. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. (ISBN 0-930466-00-4)
- North Carolina Government 1585–1979, A narrative and statistical history, Thad Eure-Secretary of State, North Carolina Department of Secretary of State-Raleigh, North Carolina.
- Samuel Ashe on Find-A-Grave
|President of the North Carolina Council of Safety
Richard Dobbs Spaight
|Governor of North Carolina
1795 – 1798
William Richardson Davie