Caswell Family Pages   

Caswell Cemetery at Vernon Hall, 2000 Dig

Smithsonian Examines Caskets, 2005

Casket Reburial, 2005

Dr. Charles Ewen Report

Location of Gov. Caswell's Grave, 1999

Caswell Month, August 2007

Caswell Family Cemetery, 2008 Dig

Help Save the Caswell and other Cemeteries

Governor Richard Caswell Document Collection in the Lenoir County, NC GenWeb Archives

Governor Richard CASWELL

Contributed By Clair Hadley A Caswell Descendant
Clair's personal page contains information on many other families in the area.

Richard Caswell was the first Governor of the independent state of North Carolina. He was the only one ever to serve for six one year terms, and the only one ever from Lenoir (then Dobbs) County. Caswell was distinguished also among governors of the newly independent states for having directly participated in the Revolutionary battles. While serving in the militia with rank of colonel in 1771, Caswell saw action under Governor Tryon in the Battle of Alamance. Three years later the First Provincial Congress met at New Bern to name delegates to the First Continental Congress, opening in Philadelphia on September 5, 1775. In May 1775, whileenroute to the Continental Congress, Colonel Caswell learned of the April 19th battles at Lexington and Concord. By the time he returned to North Carolina, Colonial Governor Josiah Martin had fled the Royal Palace, Tryon, at New Bern, taking refuge on a British warship at the mouth of Cape Fear River. Military preparations increased throughout North Carolina and Caswell was named commander of the militia in one of the six military districts. Then, at the battle of Moore's Creek Bridge on Feb. 27, 1776, Caswell led some 1,100 Whig troops who ambushed the Tories, upset British invasion plans and made him a hero of the Revolution.                  

In 1776, after the Provincial Congress enacted the Halifax Resolves, military preparations escalated and Caswell was promoted to brigadier general of militia. Later he was to command all North Carolina militia and was to join General Horatio Gates in the unsuccessful action against Cornwallis at the battle of Camden. In the meantime, Caswell served as chairman of a group to draft a state constitutuion, which was adopted, following the Declaration of Independence, by the Continental Congress.  General Caswell was chosen and reelected Governor of North Carolina by the general assemblies of 1777, 1778, and 1779. The constitution permitted only three successive terms for governor.  It was in 1777, his first year as constututional governor, that Caswell bought Harmony Hall; according to Dr. Charles Holloman, Caswell occupied Tryon Palace for a brief period, but then moved the government to Kinston, feeling the palace presented too exposed a target for British warships. Caswell was again elected N.C. Governor in 1785 and was re-elected for the full legal limit of three successive terms, serving until 1788. He suffered a fatal paralytic stroke while presiding over the state senate in the general assembly at Fayetteville in the Fall of 1789. He died on 10 Nov. 1789 and is believed to be buried at Kinston in what is now Caswell Memorial Park. The park houses the Caswell museum and Visitors Center Since Caswell left no land or houses and precious momentoes, his wealth having been sorely depleted as a result of the war, only Harmony Hall remains as the restored proof of his courage and service to the State and the Nation. SOURCES: Harmony Hall LH 08288-6 Lenoir Community College, History of Lenoir County by Charles Holloman


          The Story of Governor Richard Caswell of Lenoir includes NC history and many area families of the Revolutionary period.


Richard CASWELL Jr. Family Bible

Dallam CASWELL Bible

MCILWEAN Family Bible


Caswell Family Photo Album

Caswell Connections

Eliza W. Desmond Corrections and/or Additions

Martin CASWELL Family

Martin CASWELL Descendants

Richard CASWELL Sr. Descendants

Gov. Richard CASWELL Jr. Descendants

Early Records of the MACKILWEAN Family


LOVICK Family - Mary Ann Lovick Kilpatrick Photo



Claims Against the Estate of Gov. Richard Caswell

Wayne County Claims Against the Estate of Richard Caswell


Deeds Tracing Property Ownned by Gov. Caswell and Brothers Martin and Samuel and descendants


1804 Petitions by Dallem Caswell concerning his father's estate

George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress results of a search using"CASWELL"