William Hawkins (governor)

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William Hawkins
17th Governor of North Carolina
In office
December 11, 1811 – November 29, 1814
Preceded by Benjamin Smith
Succeeded by William Miller
Personal details
Born October 20, 1777
Pleasant Hill (present-day Vance County, North Carolina)
Died May 17, 1819 (aged 41)
Political party Democratic-Republican
Profession Lawyer

William Hawkins (October 20, 1777 – May 17, 1819) was the 17th Governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina from 1811 to 1814.

Hawkins was born in his family home, called Pleasant Hill, in what is today Vance County, North Carolina. His father, Philemon Hawkins III, was a member of the North Carolina General Assembly. He studied law in North Carolina under Judge John Williams and in Philadelphia, and worked as an Indian agent under his uncle, Benjamin Hawkins, in Georgia before returning to North Carolina to practice law. In 1801, he was sent by Gov. James Turner to settle a dispute with the Tuscarora Indians.

In 1804, Hawkins was elected to the North Carolina House of Commons from Warren County he served a single term. In 1809, he was elected as a representative from Granville County; he served until 1811, and from 1810 to 1811, was Speaker of the House.

In December 1811, Hawkins was elected Governor of North Carolina by the General Assembly. He served the constitutional limit of three terms which coincided with the War of 1812; during the war, he supported the military efforts of the federal government and assisted in raising a volunteer militia of 7,000 troops.

Hawkins retired from politics after the end of his term as governor, except for one term in the House of Commons in 1817. He died in 1819 and is buried in Sparta, Georgia.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Benjamin Smith
Governor of North Carolina
Succeeded by
William Miller