Governor Samuel Johnston presided over the Convention

The Fayetteville Convention was a meeting by 271 delegates from North Carolina to ratify the US Constitution. Governor Samuel Johnston presided over the convention, which met in Fayetteville, North Carolina, from November 16 to 23, 1789 to debate on and decide on the ratification of the Constitution, which had recommended to the states by the Philadelphia Convention during the summer of 1787. The delegates ratified the Constitution by a vote of 194 to 77, thus making North Carolina the 12th state to ratify the constitution.[1][2][3][4][5]


Market House, on site of the State House in Fayetteville

The Fayetteville Convention was held at the State House in Fayetteville, which was a large brick building built in 1788 in anticipation of Fayetteville becoming the capital of North Carolina. Although the North Carolina General Assembly met in the building in 1789, 1789 and 1793, it moved permanently to Raleigh, North Carolina in 1794. The State House, along with most of Fayetteville, was destroyed by a large fire in 1831. The Market House was built on the site in 1832.[6][7][8][9][10][11]


William Richardson Davie, Town of Halifax delegate
Scene at the signing of the Constitution of the United States. Signing is Richard Dobbs Spaight, and behind him is William Blount and Hugh Williamson.

The prior Hillsborough Convention had decided neither to ratify or to reject the Constitution. The Federalists waged a successful campaign in the 1789 elections, which resulted in Anti-Federalists receiving less than one third of the 272 seats at the Fayetteville Convention. One factor leading to the Federalist majority was the election of George Washington as President and the resulting stable government, which dispelled Anti-Federalists' fears about unbridled federal power. Influential Federalists controlled most of the North Carolina newspapers and used them to vigorously support ratification of the Constitution to the demise of Anti-Federalists. The introduction of the Bill of Rights also helped to neutralize the Ant-Federalists' objections. Thus, when the Hillsborough Convention opened on November 16, the outcome for ratification of the Constitution had been almost assured.[1]

As a final compromise, the delegates agreed to present to Congress eight amendments not covered by the proposed Bill of Rights. They included issues such as limits on congressional taxing power and on the enlistment terms for soldiers. On November 20, William Richardson Davie brought the ratification question to the Convention, which it approved with a vote of 195 to 77. As a result, North Carolina became the twelfth state to approve the U.S. Constitution. After the vote, John Huske of Wilmington led a walkout of 68 Anti-Federalists from the chambers. The convention was adjourned on November 23.[1][12][13]

The following amendments proposed by James Galloway were unanimously approved by the convention on November 23:[12]

  1. "That Congress shall not alter, modify, or interfere in the times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, or either of them, except when the Legislature of any State shall neglect, refuse, or be disabled by invasion or rebellion to prescribe the same, or in case when the provision made by the State is so imperfect as that no consequent election is had."
  2. "That Congress shall not, directly or indirectly, either by themselves or through the Judiciary, interfere with any one of the States in the redemption of paper money already emitted and now in circulation, or in liquidating and discharging the public securities of any one of the States; but each and every State shall have the exclusive right of making such laws and regulations for the above purposes, as they shall think proper."
  3. "That the members of the Senate and House of Representatives shall be ineligible to and incapable of holding any civil office under the authority of the United States during the time for which they shall respectively be elected."
  4. "That the journals of the proceedings of the Senate and House of Representatives shall be published at least once in every year, except such parts thereof relating to treaties, alliances, or military operations, as in their judgment require secrecy."
  5. "That a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public monies shall be published at least once in every year."
  6. "That no navigation law, or law regulating commerce, shall be passed, without the consent of two-thirds of the members present in both Houses."
  7. "That no soldier shall be enlisted for any longer term than four years, except in time of war, and then for no longer term than the continuance of the war."
  8. "That some tribunal, other than the Senate, be provided for trying impeachments of Senators."


later Gov. Benjamin Smith, Brunswick delegate
William Lenoir, Wilkes delegate
Joseph Graham, Mecklenburg delegate
James Kenan, Duplin delegate
Joseph McDowell, Jr, Burke delegate
John Sevier, Greene delegate
John Baptista Ashe, Halifax delegate
William Blount, Pitt delegate
Joseph Winston, Surry delegate
Benjamin Hawkins, Warren delegate
Hugh Williamson, Tyrrell delegate and signer of the Constitution

There were 271 delegates from 61 counties and six cities/districts of North Carolina. Some counties later became part of the state of Tennessee in 1796. Governor Samuel Johnston from Perquimans County presiding over the convention. Charles Johnson from Chowan County was the vice-president of the Convention. John Hunt and James Taylor were appointed as secretary and assistant secretary, respectively, of the convention. Peter Gooding, James Mulloy, William Murphy, and Nicholas Murphey were appointed as doorkeepers of the convention.:[12][14]

County/City Delegate Vote (Yea/Nay)
Anson County The Hon. Samuel Spencer Nay
Anson County Jesse Gilbert Yea
Anson County Pleasant May Nay
Anson County Thomas Wade Yea
Anson County David Jameson Yea
Beaufort County John G. Blount Yea
Beaufort County William Brown Yea
Beaufort County Richard Grist Yea
Beaufort County Alderson Ellison Yea
Beaufort County Silas W. Arnett Yea
Bertie County John Johnston Yea
Bertie County Francis Pugh Yea
Bertie County William Johnston Dawson Yea
Bertie County David Turner Yea
Bertie County David Stone Yea
Brunswick County Benjamin Smith Yea
Brunswick County William E. Lord Nay
Brunswick County William Gause Yea
Brunswick County John Hall Yea
Brunswick County Dennis Hawkins Yea
Bladen County John Cowan Yea
Bladen County Thomas Owen Yea
Bladen County Joseph Gaitier Nay
Bladen County Thomas Brown Nay
Bladen County Duncan Stewart Nay
Burke County Charles McDowall Yea
Burke County Joseph McDowall Nay
Burke County Joseph McDowall, Jun. Yea
Burke County William E. Erwin Yea
Burke County John Carson Yea
Craven County Joseph McDowall, Jun. Yea
Craven County John Allen Yea
Craven County Richard Nixon Yea
Craven County Joseph Leech Yea
Craven County Thomas Williams Nay
Cumberland County John Ingram Yea
Cumberland County John Hay Yea
Cumberland County William B. Grove Yea
Cumberland County James Moore Nay
Cumberland County Robert Adam Yea
Carteret County John Easton Yea
Carteret County Malachi Bell Yea
Carteret County John Fulford Yea
Carteret County Wallace Styron Yea
Carteret County John Wallace Yea
Currituck County William Ferebee Yea
Currituck County Thomas P. Williams Yea
Currituck County Samuel Ferebee Yea
Currituck County Andrew Duke Yea
Currituck County Spence Hall Yea
Chowan County Stephen Cabarrus Yea
Chowan County Charles Johnson Yea
Chowan County Lemuel Creecy Yea
Chowan County Edmund Blount Yea
Chowan County William Righton (late attendee) Yea
Camden County Isaac Gregory Yea
Camden County Peter Dauge Yea
Camden County Enoch Sawyer Yea
Camden County Henry Abbott Yea
Camden County Charles Grandy Yea
Caswell County John Wommack Nay
Caswell County Robert Dickens Nay
Caswell County John Graves Nay
Caswell County Robert Payne Yea
Caswell County Robert Bowman Yea
Chatham County Robert Edwards Nay
Chatham County William Vestall Yea
Chatham County John Thompson Yea
Chatham County John Ramsay Yea
Chatham County James Anderson Yea
Dobbs County Benjamin Sheppard Yea
Dobbs County Nathan Lassiter Yea
Dobbs County Simeon Bright (late attendee) Yea
Duplin County James Pearsall Nay
Duplin County James Gillespie Nay
Duplin County Robert Dickson Nay
Duplin County Lavan Watkins Nay
Duplin County James Kenan Nay
Davidson County
(became part of Tennessee in 1796)
Charles Gerrard Yea
Davidson County Joel Rice Yea
Davidson County Robert Ewing Yea
Davidson County James C. Mountflorence Yea
Davidson County William Dobbin Yea
Edgecombe County Etheldred Phillips Yea
Edgecombe County Thomas Blount Yea
Edgecombe County Jeremiah Hilliard Yea
Edgecombe County Etheldred Gray Yea
Edgecombe County William Fort Yea
Franklin County Henry Hill Nay
Franklin County Thomas Sherrod Yea
Franklin County Jordan Hill Yea
Franklin County William Lancaster Yea
Franklin County William Christmas Yea
Guilford County John Hamilton Nay
Guilford County William Gowdy Nay
Guilford County Richard D. Caldwell Nay
Guilford County Daniel Gillespie Nay
Granville County Elijah Mitchell Nay
Granville County Thomas Person Nay
Granville County Thorton Yancey Nay
Granville County Peter Bennett Nay
Granville County Edmund Taylor Jr. Nay
Gates County David Rice Yea
Gates County Joseph Riddick Yea
Gates County John Baker Yea
Greene County
(became part of Tennessee in 1796)
John Sevier Yea
Greene County Alexander Outlaw Yea
Greene County John Allison Yea
Greene County George Doherty Yea
Greene County James Wilson Yea
Halifax County Lunsford Long Yea
Halifax County John Baptista Ashe Yea
Halifax County Peter Qualls Yea
Halifax County John Whitaker Yea
Halifax County Marmaduke Norfleet Yea
Hertford County Thomas Wynns Yea
Hertford County Robert Montgomery Yea
Hertford County Hardy Murfee Yea
Hertford County Henry Hill Yea
Hertford County Henry Baker Yea
Hyde County John Eborn Yea
Hyde County James Watson Yea
Hyde County John Anderson Yea
Hyde County James Jasper Yea
Hyde County Michael Peters Yea
Hawkins County
(became part of Tennessee in 1789)
Nathaniel Henderson Yea
Hawkins County James White Yea
Hawkins County John Hunt Yea
Hawkins County Elijah Chessen (late attendee) Yea
Iredell County Adlai Osborne Yea
Iredell County Adam Brevard Yea
Iredell County Musentine Matthews Yea
Iredell County John Nesbitt (Nisbet) Yea
Iredell County David Caldwell Yea
Johnston County Samuel Smith Yea
Johnston County Hardy Bryan Yea
Johnston County William Bridgers Yea
Johnston County William Hackney Yea
Johnston County Matthias Handy Yea
Jones County Frederick Hargett Yea
Jones County Edward Whitty Yea
Jones County John H. Bryan Yea
Jones County Jacob Johnston Yea
Lincoln County Joseph Dickson Yea
Lincoln County John Moore Yea
Lincoln County William MacLaine Yea
Lincoln County Robert Alexander Nay
Lincoln County John Caruth Yea
Moore County William Martin Nay
Moore County Thomas Tyson Yea
Moore County Donald MacIntosh Nay
Moore County Neill McLeod Nay
Moore County Cornelius Doud (late attendee) Nay
Martin County John Stewart Yea
Martin County William Williams Yea
Martin County Nathan Mayo Yea
Martin County Thomas Hunter (late attendee) Yea
Mecklenburg County Zachias Wilson Nay
Mecklenburg County Joseph Douglass Nay
Mecklenburg County Caleb Phifer Nay
Mecklenburg County Joseph Graham Nay
Mecklenburg County James Porter Nay
Montgomery County William Johnston Yea
Montgomery County James Turner Yea
Montgomery County James Tindall Yea
Montgomery County David Nesbitt Yea
Montgomery County James Crump Yea
Northampton County John M. Benford Yea
Northampton County Halcott B. Pride Nay
Northampton County Samuel Tarver Yea
Northampton County Robert Peebles Nay
Northampton County Samuel Peete Yea
New Hanover County Timothy Bloodworth Nay
New Hanover County John G. Scull Nay
New Hanover County John Huske Nay
New Hanover County John A. Campbell Nay
Nash County Howell Ellin Yea
Nash County Wilson Vick Yea
Nash County William S. Marnes Yea
Nash County John Bonds Yea
Nash County Hardy Griffin Yea
Onslow County Robert W. Sneed Yea
Onslow County John Spicer Yea
Onslow County Daniel Yates Yea
Onslow County George Mitchell Yea
Onslow County Edward Ward Yea
Orange County James Christmass Yea
Orange County Thomas H. Perkins Nay
Orange County William F. Strudwick Nay
Orange County Joseph Hodge Nay
Orange County Alexander Mebane Nay
Pasquotank County Edward Everegain Yea
Pasquotank County John Swan Yea
Pasquotank County Thomas Banks Yea
Pasquotank County Devotion Davis Yea
Perquimans County His Excellency, Samuel Johnston Yea
Perquimans County John Skinner Yea
Perquimans County Joseph Harvey Yea
Perquimans County Benjamin Perry Yea
Perquimans County Asbury Sutton Yea
Pitt County William Blount Yea
Pitt County Shadrick Allen Yea
Pitt County James Armstrong Yea
Pitt County Samuel Simpson Yea
Pitt County Benjamin Bell Yea
Rowan County George H. Berger Nay
Rowan County Bazel Gaither Yea
Rowan County John Stokes Yea
Rowan County Maxwell Chambers Yea
Rowan County Matthew Lock Nay
Randolph County Zebedee Wood Nay
Randolph County Reuben Wood Yea
Randolph County Nathan Stedman Yea
Randolph County William Bailey (late attendee) Yea
Richmond County Edward Williams Yea
Richmond County Alexander Watson Nay
Richmond County William Robinson Nay
Richmond County Duncan M'Farland Nay
Richmond County Darby Harragan (late attendee) Nay
Rutherford County William Porter Yea
Rutherford County James Holland Yea
Rutherford County Richard Lewis Yea
Rutherford County William Johnson Yea
Rockingham County William Bethell Nay
Rockingham County James Gallaway Nay
Rockingham County Isaac Clarke Nay
Rockingham County Abram Phillips Nay
Rockingham County John Dabney Nay
Robeson County John Willis Yea
Robeson County Elias Barnes Yea
Robeson County Neill Brown Yea
Robeson County John Cade Yea
Robeson County Alford Sion Yea
Surry County Joseph Winston Yea
Surry County Gideon Edwards Nay
Surry County Absalom Bostwick Nay
Surry County Edward Lovell Yea
Surry County George Houser Yea
Sullivan County
(became part of Tennessee in 1796)
John Rhea Yea
Sullivan County William Nash Nay
Sullivan County John Scott Nay
Sullivan County Joseph Martin Yea
Sampson County Richard Clinton Nay
Sampson County James Spiller Yea
Sampson County James Thompson Nay
Sampson County Hardy Holmes Nay
Sampson County William King Nay
Sumner County
(became part of Tennessee in 1796)
Daniel Smith Yea
Sumner County David Wilson Yea
Sumner County Samuel Mason Yea
Sumner County Edward Douglass Yea
Sumner County John Overton Yea
Tennessee County
(became Montgomery County, Tennessee and
Robertson County, Tennessee in 1796)
John Montgomery Yea
Tennessee County John Drew Yea
Tennessee County Thomas Johnston Yea
Tennessee County William Blount[15] Yea
Tennessee County Benjamin Menees Yea
Tyrrell County Thomas Stewart Yea
Tyrrell County Hugh Williamson[15] Yea
Tyrrell County Jeremiah Frazier Yea
Tyrrell County Simeon Spruill Yea
Tyrrell County Samuel Chesson Yea
Washington County
(became part of Tennessee in 1796)
Landon Carter Yea
Washington County Robert Love Yea
Washington County John Blair Yea
Washington County William Houston yea
Washington County Andrew Green Yea
Warren County Benjamin Hawkins Yea
Warren County Philemon Hawkins Yea
Warren County Solomon Green Yea
Warren County Wyatt Hawkins Nay
Warren County Thomas Christmass Nay
Wayne County Richard McKinnie Yea
Wayne County Burwell Mooring Nay
Wayne County David Cogdell Nay
Wayne County Josiah Jernigan Yea
Wayne County James Handley Yea
Wake County Joel Lane Yea
Wake County Thomas Hines Yea
Wake County Henry Lane Yea
Wake County Brittain Sanders Nay
Wake County William Hayes Yea
Wilkes County John Brown Nay
Wilkes County William Lenoir Nay
Wilkes County Joseph Herndon Nay
Wilkes County Benjamin Jones Nay
Wilkes County William Nall Nay
Town of Salisbury John Steele. Yea
Town of Edenton John Mare Yea
Town of Hillsboro Samuel Benton Yea
Town of Newbern Isaac Guion Yea
Town of Halifax William Richardson Davie.[15] Yea
Town of Wilmington William N. Hill Yea

See also


  1. ^ a b c Cavanagh, John C. (2006). "Convention of 1789". NCPedia. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  2. ^ "Fayetteville Convention of 1789". North Carolina Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  3. ^ John C. Cavanaugh, Decision at Fayetteville (Raleigh, 1989)
  4. ^ William Price, Jr., "’There Ought to Be a Bill of Rights’: North Carolina Enters a New Nation," in The Bill of Rights and the States, ed. Patrick T. Conley and John Kaminski (Lanham, Maryland, 1992)
  5. ^ Louise Irby Trenholme, The Ratification of the Federal Constitution in North Carolina (Columbia, Missouri, 1932)
  6. ^ "Old Town Hall, Marker I-14". Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  7. ^ Parker, Roy Jr. (January 1, 1990). Cumberland County: A Brief History. North Carolina Office of Archives and History.
  8. ^ Cavanagh (April 1, 1989). Decision at Fayetteville: North Carolina Ratification Convention and General Assembly of 1789. Historical Pubns Section.
  9. ^ Johnson, Lucile Miller (1978). Hometown Heritage, Fayetteville, North Carolina. Colonel Robert Rowan Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
  10. ^ Powell, William S., ed. (2006). Encyclopedia of North Carolina.
  11. ^ "Unknown". (Raleigh) News and Observer. April 4, 1989.
  12. ^ a b c "Minutes of the North Carolina Constitutional Convention at Fayetteville". Documenting the South. 1789. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  13. ^ Note: final vote quoted from minutes vice NCPedia article. The list of members below shows 78 Nays. Attempts have been made to reconcile the difference.
  14. ^ Connor, R.D.D. (1913). A Manual of North Carolina (PDF). Raleigh: North Carolina Historical Commission. p. 863-. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  15. ^ a b c Framer of the U.S. Constitution