CASWELL, Richard, a Delegate from North Carolina; born in Harford (now Baltimore) County, Md., August 3, 1729; moved to North Carolina in 1746; appointed deputy surveyor of the colony in 1750; clerk of the court of Orange County 1752-1754; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1754 and commenced practice in Hillsboro, N.C.; member of the colonial house of delegates 1754-1771, and served as speaker the last two years; commanded the right wing of Governor Tryon’s army at the Battle of Alamance in 1771; served in the Revolutionary Army; Member of the Continental Congress 1774-1775; commanded the patriots at the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge, North Carolina, February 23, 1776; appointed brigadier general of the New Bern District by the Provincial Congress in 1776; delegate to the State constitutional convention and its president in 1776; Governor of North Carolina 1776-1780; commanded the North Carolina troops at the Battle of Camden in 1780; comptroller general in 1782; member of the State senate 1782-1784 and served as speaker; again elected Governor in 1785 and served until 1787; appointed delegate from North Carolina to the convention that framed the Federal Constitution in 1787, but did not attend; member of the State convention at Fayetteville, N.C., that adopted the Federal Constitution in 1789; member and speaker of the State house of commons in 1789 and served until his death in Fayetteville, N.C., November 10, 1789; interment in the family cemetery on his estate near Kinston, Lenoir County, N.C.
BibliographyConnor, R.D.W. (Robert Digges Wimberly). “Richard Caswell,” in Revolutionary Leaders of North Carolina, 79-101. 1916. Reprint edition, Spartansburg, S. C., Reprint Co., 1971.
Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present