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Alexander Martin

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Gov. Alexander Martin

Alexander Martin (1740 -- 10 November 1807) was the Federalist governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina from 1782 to 1784 and from 1789 to 1792.

Martin was born in Hunterdon County, New Jersey and attended the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University), graduating with an A.B. degree in 1756 and an A.M. in 1759. He moved to North Carolina around 1761 and became a practicing attorney in Guilford County.

In 1774, Martin was elected to the Colonial Assembly in North Carolina; he fought in the Continental Army at the Battles of Brandywine and Germantown. He resigned his commission in 1777 and returned to North Carolina, where he served in the North Carolina Senate during periods from 1778 to 1782, in 1785, and from 1787 to 1788.

In 1782, the General Assembly elected him North Carolina Governor; he served until 1784. Martin was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. A Federalist, Martin was elected the first governor of North Carolina under the North Carolina Constitution of 1789.

Term-limited as Governor, Martin was elected to the United States Senate and served there for a single term from 1793 to 1799. As a member of Congress, he opposed the Jay Treaty but supported the Alien and Sedition Acts. Also an advocate for education, Martin served on the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1790 until his death in 1807.

The General Assembly refused to appoint him to a second term in the U.S. Senate; Martin then retired to his North Carolina farm. He did return to politics during the last years of his life, serving from 1805 to 1807 as speaker of the state senate.

Sources

  • 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)
Preceded by:
(first term)
Thomas Burke
Governor of North Carolina
1782-1784, 1789-1792
Succeeded by:
(first term)
Richard Caswell
Preceded by:
(second term)
Samuel Johnston
Succeeded by:
(second term)
Richard Dobbs Spaight
Preceded by:
Samuel Johnston
Senator from North Carolina
1793-1799
Succeeded by:
Jesse Franklin
Served in Senate alongside: Benjamin Hawkins, Timothy Bloodworth
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