Gabriel Johnston

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Gabriel Johnston
6th Governor of North Carolina
In office
2 November 1734 – 17 July 1752
MonarchGeorge II
Preceded byNathaniel Rice (acting)
Succeeded byNathaniel Rice (acting)
Personal details
Died17 July 1752 (aged 53)
Bertie County, North Carolina
Resting placeSt. Paul's Church, Edenton
36°03′40.6″N 76°36′31.8″W / 36.061278°N 76.608833°W / 36.061278; -76.608833
ProfessionPhysician, writer, professor

Gabriel Johnston (1699 – 17 July 1752) was a British colonial official who served as the sixth governor of the Province of North Carolina from 1734 until his death in 1752. He was the longest serving governor, holding the office for 18 years.[1]

Early life[edit]

Gabriel Johnston was born in Scotland in 1699. He was a physician, political writer, and professor of Oriental languages at the University of St. Andrews.[1]

Governor of North Carolina[edit]

Johnston was greatly disturbed by the conditions he found in the province and deplored what he considered the moral laxity, the disregard for law, the inadequate educational facilities, and the oppression of the poor. His administration witnessed an increase in wealth, population, and development of resources.

The United Brethren purchased 100,000 acres of land and settled Wachovia. Another group emigrating in large numbers, and with especial appeal for the governor, were the Scots, who settled in the Cape Fear region. The union with England and a breakup in the clan system, as well as a pardon to all Scottish rebels who would emigrate, greatly stimulated their settlement in America. The General Assembly of North Carolina exempted all new settlers from taxation for ten years. The general assembly was probably motivated by a desire to increase immigration to the province, but doubtless the Scottish governor added weight to the measure.[1]


Some years later the General Assembly of North Carolina provided for the erection of a fort on the south bank of Cape Fear and named it in honor of Johnston.[1] Johnston County was also named after him.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Crabtree, Beth G. (1958). North Carolina Governors, 1585–1958; Brief Sketches. Raleigh, North Carolina: State Department of Archives and History. pp. 35–36. LCCN 58063545. OCLC 4155985.
  2. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States (Report) (2nd ed.). Washington: Government Printing Office. p. 170 – via United States Geological Survey.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by Governor of North Carolina
Succeeded by
Nathaniel Rice