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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bath in Beaufort County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Matthew Rowan

 
 
Matthew Rowan Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, August 10, 2013
1. Matthew Rowan Marker
Inscription. Acting governor, 1753-54. Councilor, assemblyman, and Surveyor General. Merchant in the Irish trade. His home was here.
 
Erected 1931 by North Carolina Archives, Conservation and Highway Departments. (Marker Number B-27.)
 
Location. 35° 28.647′ N, 76° 48.84′ W. Marker is in Bath, North Carolina, in Beaufort County. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street and Carteret Street (North Carolina Route 92), on the right when traveling south on South Main Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bath NC 27808, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Colonial Bath (within shouting distance of this marker); James Adams Floating Theatre (within shouting distance of this marker); Palmer - Marsh House (within shouting distance of this marker); First Public Library (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Colonial Bath (about 600 feet away); Historic Bath (about 600 feet away); First Post Road (about 600 feet away); Alexander Stewart (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Bath.
 
Regarding Matthew Rowan. Matthew Rowan, acting governor of North Carolina from
Matthew Rowan Marker at South Main Street and Carteret Street (North Carolina Route 92 image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, April 19, 2013
2. Matthew Rowan Marker at South Main Street and Carteret Street (North Carolina Route 92
1753 to 1754, came to America from Ireland as a young man. He was the son of the Reverend John Rowan and his wife Margaret of County Antrim, Ireland. The first mention of Rowan in North Carolina occurs in 1726 when he served as a church warden in Bath. A 1729 court document states that he came to the colony in 1724 to construct two vessels for a Dublin merchant, and that he had “runaway with one of them loaded with enumerated goods contrary to the Acts of Trade.”

Despite his reputed smuggling activities, Rowan became a respectable member of society. In 1727, after moving to the Cape Fear region, Rowan became a member of the Colonial Assembly, and four years later was named to the Governor’s Council. He helped survey the boundary between the two Carolinas in 1735, and two years later was appointed surveyor-general for North Carolina.

Upon Governor Nathaniel Rice’s death on January 29, 1753, Rowan, as Council president, became acting governor. He held the post until October 31, 1754 when Governor Arthur Dobbs arrived in New Bern. Rowan’s tenure was marked by troubles in attempting to reorganize the state militia system during the outbreak of the French and Indian War.

After his brief stint as governor, Rowan retired to his plantation, now referred to as Roan, in Brunswick County although he continued to serve as member of the Council.
Matthew Rowan Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, August 10, 2013
3. Matthew Rowan Marker
Rowan married his brother John’s widow, Elizabeth, in 1742, although the marriage resulted in no children. Rowan did have an illegitimate son with Jane Stubbs of Bath. Rowan fully acknowledged the boy, whom he named John Rowan. Upon his death in 1760, Matthew Rowan left a substantial part of his fortune to his son who had become a mariner in Barbados. Robert Rowan, French and Indian War officer and colonial politician, was Matthew Rowan’s nephew.

Rowan reportedly is buried on his Brunswick County plantation. Rowan County was named in his honor in 1753. (North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources)
 
Categories. Notable Persons
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 288 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.   2. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   3. submitted on , by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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