Abner Nash, New Bern
A bronze plaque commemorating Abner Nash is attached to a large boulder. The plaque was cast as the front elevation of a Greek revival architectural style building. In relief on the building’s pediment are several components from the Great Seal of the State of North Carolina, to include the state motto” Esse quam videri” meaning "To be, rather than to seem". Also prominent are the figures Liberty and Plenty facing towards each other. A bas-relief eagle in flight is directly below the pediment with the inscriptions appearing below the eagle’s spread wings. This marker was one of three dedicated on the same day and attached to the same boulder, the "Governors Boulder," at the Craven County Courthouse. They honor three men who held that position in North Carolina: Richard Dobbs Spaight (Sr.), Richard Dobbs Spaight (Jr.), and Abner Nash.
Images: “Governors Boulder"
ABNER NASH / A RESIDENT OF NEW BERN FOR FIFTEEN YEARS; / BORN IN PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY, VIRGINIA, ABOUT / 1740, BUT CAME TO NORTH CAROLINA IN 1763; MEMBER OF / COLONIAL ASSEMBLY FROM HALIFAX TOWN IN 1764 AND 1765; / FROM THE COUNTY OF HALIFAX IN 1769, 1770 AND 1771; / DELEGATE FROM THE TOWN OF NEW BERN TO THE FOUR / PROVINCIAL CONGRESSES 1773, 1774, 1775 AND 1776; MEMBER OF / PROVINCIAL COUNCIL IN 1775; SPEAKER OF THE FIRST HOUSE / OF COMMONS IN 1777; SENATOR FROM JONES COUNTY / IN 1779; SPEAKER OF THE SENATE IN 1780; GOVERNOR OF THE / STATE 1780-1781; MEMBER OF CONTINENTAL CONGRESS 1782-1786. / DIED IN NEW YORK CITY, DECEMBER 2ND 1786. DISTINGUISHED / LAWYER, ZEALOUS PATRIOT, AND ABLE PUBLIC SERVANT.
ERECTED 1923 BY / THE NORTH CAROLINA HISTORICAL COMMISSION / RICHARD DOBBS SPAIGHT CHAPTER DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION / COUNTY OF CRAVEN AND CITY OF NEW BERN.
June 7, 1923
35.108020 , -77.038000 View in Geobrowse
"Abner Nash," The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed April 3, 2017) Link
"Courthouse, New Bern, N.C." in North Carolina Postcard Collection (P052), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill Link
Barefoot, Daniel W. Touring North Carolina’s Revolutionary War Sites (Winston Salem, NC: John F. Blair Publisher, 1998), 76-77
Drane Nash, Jaquelin. 1991. “Nash, Abner,” NCPedia.org, (accessed February 3, 2017) Link
“Abner Nash - - New Bern North Carolina,” Waymarking.com, (accessed February 3, 2017) Link
“Descendants of 3 Governors Help to Honor Ancestors,” The Morning New Bernian (New Bern, NC), June 8, 1923
“Scenes at Unveiling of Boulder to Colonial Governors,” The Morning New Bernian (New Bern, NC), June 10, 1923
“The Memorials to North Carolina’s Early Governors,” The Morning New Bernian (New Bern, NC), June 10, 1923
Bronze, boulder of Mr. Airy granite
Richard Dobbs Spaight Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, the North Carolina Historical Commission, City of New Bern and Craven County
The memorial dedications were a featured part of the first annual meeting of the fifth district of the Daughters of the American Revolution hosted by the Richard Dobbs Spaight Chapter. Mrs. Margaret Donnell Nelson, a lineal descendant of the Speights, and little Miss Arabella Cox, a lineal descendant of Abner Nash, performed the unveiling. Much of the ceremony took place in the courtroom with the presentation of a paper on Abner Nash by Frank Nash of Raleigh and a paper on the Speights by Judge Henry A. Grady. Dr. D. H. Hill represented the NC Historical Society. Addresses were also given by member of the D.A.R. and school children. During the ceremony “America,” “The Star Spangled Banner” and “Carolina” were performed.
[Additional information from NCpedia editors at the State Library of North Carolina: This person enslaved and owned other people. Many Black and African people, their descendants, and some others were enslaved in the United States until the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in 1865. It was common for wealthy landowners, entrepreneurs, politicians, institutions, and others to enslave people and use enslaved labor during this period. To read more about the enslavement and transportation of African people to North Carolina, visit https://aahc.nc.gov/programs/africa-carolina-0. To read more about slavery and its history in North Carolina, visit https://www.ncpedia.org/slavery. - Government and Heritage Library, 2023.]
The commemorative boulder with three bronze plaques is located in front of the Craven County Courthouse near the intersection of Broad Street and Craven Street. The courthouse address is 302 Broad St, New Bern, NC 28560. Craven County WWI and WWII Memorial stands to the left of the boulder if facing the main entrance to the building.
The boulder with commemorative plaques stands on the well-maintained front lawn.