William Sharpe (December 13, 1742 – July 1, 1818) was a lawyer and politician from North Carolina, and a delegate to the Continental Congress.
Sharpe was born in Rock Church, Maryland, in 1742. He was the son of Thomas Sharpe, of Maryland. He pursued classical studies and law. He was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina in 1763.
Sharpe placed the first bill before the legislature of North Carolina to propose a publicly supported university in the state. This bill failed, but was taken up at the next seating of the legislature and was promoted by one of the state’s Revolutionary War leaders General William Richardson Davie. It subsequently passed, creating the University of North Carolina.
Sharpe was a member of the Provincial Congress in 1775. He was an aide to General Rutherford in the Indian campaign in 1776 and was one of four commissioners appointed by Governor Caswell to form a treaty with the Indians in 1777. Sharpe served as a delegate to the North Carolina constitutional convention in Halifax in 1776, and helped to frame the first constitution of the State. He was later appointed in 1779 as a delegate to the Continental Congress, 1779–1781, and elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1781 and 1782. Sharpe died near Statesville, North Carolina in 1818 and is interred in Snow Creek Graveyard.