John Baptista Ashe – Continental Congressman – North Carolina


John Baptista Ashe (1748 – November 27, 1802) was an American planter, soldier, and statesman from North Carolina. He was born in Rocky Point township of Pender County, North Carolina in 1748, the son of Samuel Ashe and his first cousin Mary Porter Ashe. During the American Revolutionary War, he served in the North Carolina Line of the Continental Army, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was at Valley Forge and fought in the Battle of Eutaw Springs.

Ashe was elected to the North Carolina House of Commons and served as Speaker of that body. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1787. In 1789, Ashe was a delegate and Chairman of the Committee of the Whole of the state convention that ratified the U.S. Constitution. That same year, he served in the North Carolina Senate.

Ashe was elected to the First United States Congress and the Second United States Congress as an “Anti-Administration” (what became Anti-Federalist or Democratic-Republican) candidate, serving from 1790 to 1793.

In 1802, the North Carolina General Assembly elected Ashe Governor, but he died before he could take office. He is buried in Halifax.

His namesake and nephew, John Baptista Ashe, served in Congress as a Representative from Tennessee.