Matthew Rowan

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His Excellency
Matthew Rowan
Acting Governor of North Carolina
In office
Monarch George II
Preceded by Nathaniel Rice (acting)
Succeeded by Arthur Dobbs
Personal details
Born County Antrim, Ireland
Died April 1760

Matthew Rowan (died April 1760), was the Acting Governor of North Carolina from 1753 to 1754.


Matthew Rowan was born in County Antrim, Ireland, but the date of his birth remains unknown. He was son of Reverend John Rowan and the former Margaret Stewart and had, at least, a brother, Jerome. Although it is not known when Rowan emigrated to North Carolina, it is recorded that Rowan lived in Bath in 1726, serving as a church warden. In addition, he was a merchant and shipbuilding in the colony. In 1727, Rowan joined the assembly in 1727 to the executive council in 1731, where he worked between 1734 and 1760 (date of his death). In 1735 Rowan worked in the survey of the boundary line between North and South Carolina with other men, being appointed surveyor-general of North Carolina.

He was appointed President of the Council and acting governor of North Carolina in 1753, following the death of governor Nathaniel Rice. He remained in the charge until 1754. Matthew Rowan died April, 1760.[1] He is buried on the Brunswick County plantation.[2]

Matthew Rowan married Elizabeth, the widow of his brother Jerome, in 1742, although they had no children (while she had four daughters). Rowan did father one child, John Rowan, with Jane Stubbs; he acknowledged his paternity and remembered John in his will. Matthew Rowan mainly lived in the Lower Cape Fear, near the Brunswick County community (modern Northwest), where he lived in North Carolina.

In 1753, the area that had previously been the northern part of Anson County was formed into Rowan County, named in his honor.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Wegner, Ansley. "Rowan, Matthew". North Carolina Office of Archives and History. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Rowan, Matthew". North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 

Government offices
Preceded by
Nathaniel Rice
Acting Governor of North Carolina
1753 - 1754
Succeeded by
Arthur Dobbs