Abner Nash

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Abner Nash (August 8, 17405 December 1786) was governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina between 1781 and 1782, and represented North Carolina in the Continental Congress from 1782 to 1786.

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Gov. Abner Nash

Abner was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia. He read for the law and was admitted to the bar in Virginia. He also began his political career there, serving the the House of Burgesses from 1761 to 1765 before moving to New Bern, North Carolina.

Nash was an active supporter of the revolutionary cause. He represented New Bern in the rebel provincial congress assembled from 1774, and in 1776 was a member of the committee that drafted the state's new constitution. He became a member of the North Carolina General Assembly in 1777 and the State Senate in 1779.

He was elected Governor in 1781. During his brief tenure as governor, North Carolina saw some of its worst conflicts as a battleground in the American Revolutionary War. Unlike his brother Francis, his temper and poor health weren't suited to the needs of war. This brought him into difficulty with the legislature. The assembly appointed Richard Caswell as commander-in-chief of the militia, even through the constitution assigned this responsibility to the governor. Then in December of 1781 they named a Council Extraordinary that further encroached on his office. He resigned and want home in the spring of 1782 and Thomas Burke was named to replace him.

Later in 1782, North Carolina eased political tensions by sending Nash as a delegate to the Continental Congress. He would serve there the rest of his life, as he died at a session in New York City. Abner was originally buried in St. Paul's Churchyard in Manhattan, but his body was later returned for burial in a private, family plot in Craven County, North Carolina.

His son, Frederick Nash, was also a lawyer and political leader. He would serve as Chief Justice in North Carolina's Supreme Court.

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Preceded by:
Richard Caswell
Governor of North Carolina
1781-1782
Succeeded by:
Thomas Burke
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