John Baptista Ashe Oversees Ratification in North Carolina

John Baptista Ashe Oversees Ratification in North Carolina

John Baptista Ashe was a Colonel in the Continental Army before becoming an important part of North Carolina politics.

Ashe was also one of the original North Carolinians to be a member of the United States House of Representatives.

John Baptista Ashe

We will conclude our three-day run of the Ashe Family with John Baptista Ashe.

John followed his father and uncle into the fervor of revolution by signing up for the Continental Army.

During his tenure, Ashe achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was one of the men who survived the harsh winter at Valley Forge. Among his most notable engagements was in support of Nathanael Greene at the Battle of Eutaw Springs.

Congressman

After the Revolutionary War was won, John Baptista Ashe went into politics.

He was quickly elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives, eventually being chosen as its Speaker. Additionally, he was sent to the Confederation Congress for a year.

When he returned, he became embroiled in North Carolina’s fight against ratification of the Constitution.

Ratification

Much of the fiercest resistance against the Constitution came from North Carolina. In fact, that State needed several conventions before ratification took place.

When the Constitution was finally ratified, John Baptista Ashe was Chairman of that convention’s Committee of the Whole. As we’ve discussed before, the Committee of the Whole is a parliamentary device which allows Delegates to speak freely without going on the record. Most congresses of the time spent more hours in the Committee of the Whole than in their normal legislative status.

As Chairman, Ashe led North Carolina to accept the Constitution, due mostly to George Washington having already been President for six months.

House of Representatives

After ratification, Ashe was selected as one of North Carolina’s inaugural members of the United States House of Representatives. Although, we should remember, he missed most of the first session due to his State’s late arrival.

John was elected to the House for two terms before returning home.

In 1802 Ashe was elected Governor of North Carolina. This was just four years after his father had left the position. Unfortunately, John fell ill and passed away before his term began and, therefore, is not considered a past Governor of his State.

Do you want to learn about some Founders who actually became Governor of North Carolina?

Great!

Try these articles on John Adam Treutlen and Thomas Burke.

Want to read a great book about the Battle of Eutaw Springs (where Ashe saw action)?

Nice!

‘Eutaw Springs’ is a great reflection on the battle and its importance. Pick up a copy through the Amazon affiliate link below (you’ll support this site, but don’t worry, Amazon pays me while your price stays the same).

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