Thursday is the 250th anniversary of William Davie’s birth. Some UNC students have been excavating his South Carolina home to try to find out more about the UNC-CH founder and former North Carolina governor. Read about it here.
Did you know that Davie:
• Was raised about 10 miles south of Charlotte in the Waxhaws, just over the state border, and the only N.C. governor buried in South Carolina — at the Old Waxhaw Presbyterian Church in upper Lancaster County.
• Graduated from Princeton and interrupted his law studies to lead a cavalry troop against the British in the American Revolution, was seriously wounded and promoted to colonel — all before age 25. President Andrew Jackson later said that Davie was the finest military officer he’d ever known.
• Hated the British so fiercely that he named his youngest son, Hyder Ali, in honor of the courageous Muslim warrior who fought the British in India.
• Was appointed by President John Adams as foreign minister to France in order to improve relations and avoid war. While in Paris for more than a year, Davie dined and met with Napoleon Bonaparte at the Tuileries Palace. Davie negotiated the Treaty of Mortefontaine and as “pledges of amity and union” between the two nations, Napoleon gave Davie several ancient Roman gold coins.