About Jesse Franklin
DAR Ancestor #: A041753. Married Meeky Perkins.
Jesse Franklin (March 24, 1760 – August 31, 1823) was the Democratic-Republican U.S. senator from the U.S. state of North Carolina between 1799 and 1805 and between 1807 and 1813. He later served as the 20th Governor of North Carolina from 1820 to 1821.
Jesse Franklin was the brother of Meshack Franklin, who also served in Congress. Jesse Franklin was born in Orange County, Virginia on March 24, 1760. He was the son of Bernard and Mary Franklin, the third of seven sons. Franklin moved to North Carolina with his father in 1774 and served as major during the Revolutionary War. During the war he was captured by Tories, but escaped. Franklin was in the Battle of Kings Mountain and served as Adjutant of Colonel Benjamin Cleveland's battalion. (Cleveland was a relative of Franklin's.) He was also at the Battle of Guilford Court House. He performed further service in partisan warfare against Tories in North Carolina, service that continued to the end of the war. In Greensboro there is a monument to Revolutionary War soldiers Joseph Winston, Jesse Franklin and Richard Taliaferro, the gift of Governor Thomas M. Holt. He was a member of the state legislature in 1793-1794 and 1797-1798. He was elected to the Fourth Congress and served from March 4, 1795 to March 4, 1797. Jesse Franklin was elected as a Democratic Republican to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1799 to March 4, 1805. Franklin was put up by the Legislature for re-election in December, 1804, but Republicans at the time were divided in their support of him and Federalists did not think highly of him, and he was defeated. Franklin served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Eighth Congress. Franklin served as a state senator in 1805-1806. In 1806 he was again elected as a Democratic Republican to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1807 until March 4, 1813. During his second period as a Senator, Franklin was known as an advocate of Madison's war measures, and as an opponent of monopolies and central banks. Franklin was appointed a commissioner to negotiate with the Chickasaw Indians near the site of present-day Memphis in 1817, an appointment he accepted at the request of General Andrew Jackson. He was Governor of North Carolina from 1820 to 1821. During his term as Governor, the Canova statue was placed at the state Capitol in a new addition containing a rotunda that was considered an appropriate area for displaying it. As Governor, Franklin was considered to be conscientious and practical. He advocated reform in the treatment of criminals, including abolition of ear cropping. Franklin died in Surry County, North Carolina on August 31, 1823. He was interred at the old National Park at Guilford battleground, near Greensboro.
-------------------- Bernard and Mary (Payne) Franklin’s son, Jesse, was born in Orange County, Virginia on March 24, 1760. He bore the same name as a brother who was born on March 3, 1758, and died a year later on March 14, 1759. Jesse Franklin grew to young manhood on Blue Run in sight of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. He was about ten years younger than James Madison (who married Dolly Payne, a Franklin cousin). Being neighbors, Franklin and Madison were uΩndoubtedly acquainted with one another. When both men became active in federal politics, their acquaintance grew to close friendship.
Jesse Franklin married Maacha Perkins, familiarly known as Meckey as spelled in her husband’s will. She was born about 1766 to Hardin and Sarah (Price) Perkins of Buckingham County, Virginia. Her name, Maacha, is Biblical in origin; or it may have been bestowed in commemoration of the Celtic Goddess who figures prominently in Ireland’s ancient lore. It was quite a fashionable name about the time Maacha Perkins was born for she was not the only baby girl on the upper James River who was named Maacha during the latter part of the 1700s.
Jesse Franklin and Meckey Perkins probably met one another when she visited a relative - perhaps her brother - William Perkins. He, like the Franklins, lived on Fishers River, but about fifteen miles north in Patrick County.
Jesse Franklin died on September 24, 1823 and his widow Meckey (Perkins) Franklin died in February 1834. Both were buried near their Fishers River home. In 1835, they were joined in rest by their daughter Matilda Caroline (Franklin) Moore, the young wife of Samuel Dalton Moore and mother of three small children.
The remains of Jesse Franklin, a true patriot and hero, were re-interred in 1902 with to Richard Taliaferro and Joseph Winston at the base of the Monument to Southern Heroes in the park that commemorates the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. Jesse Franklin’s public life as a hero and service to North Carolina and the nation is well known in Surry County and will not be repeated here.