Mary McIlwaine Caswell
Wife of War Governor Richard Caswell
1731 – 1757 A.D.

History's Women: Early America: Mary McIlwaine Caswell's husband - Richard Caswell, Signer of the Declaration of Independence

Richard Caswell

Mary McIlwaine, of Lenoir County (afterward Dobbs) was married to Richard Caswell, about 1750. He had come into the Province from Cecil County, Md., while yet a boy and had studied law and established a fair practice. After his marriage he moved into Johnson County. He early became interested in Provincial politics and was president of the Provincial Congress which met in Halifax in 1776, and was one of the committee that formed the State constitution under which he was elected the first governor. While presiding in the Senate, he was stricken with a paralysis from which he died a few days later, November 10, 1789. He left one son and two daughters.

His son William was married to Gartha McIlwaine. Anne Caswell, his eldest daughter, was married twice; her first husband being named Fonville and the second being named William White, Secretary of State, 1778 to 1811. Mrs. White left three daughters, Ann, who married Governor David L. Swain, another married General Daniel L. Barringer, and the third became the wife of General Boone Felton. Governor Caswell’s second daughter married a man named Catlin. Dr. John Catlin, who was a surgeon in the United States Army, and massacred at Dade’s defeat by the Seminoles in Florida, was her son as was General Catlin.


Reference: The Pioneer Mothers of America: A Record of the More Notable Women of the Early Days of the Country, and Particularly of the Colonial and Revolutionary Periods by Harry Clinton Green and Mary Wolcott Green, A.B. Third Volume, Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.