William Miller, Governor During War of 1812

William Miller. Image from the State Archives.On December 10, 1825, former North Carolina Governor William Miller died in Key West, Florida.

Born around 1783 in Warren County, Miller worked as a private lawyer, the state’s attorney general and a member of the General Assembly before first being elected governor in 1814. He went on to serve three terms in the post, and was the first to occupy the newly completed Governor’s Palace at the south end of Raleigh’s Fayetteville Street.

Active on the national political stage, Miller supported the military policies of President James Madison during the concluding weeks of the War of 1812 by ordering out additional militia forces for potential service on the southern frontier.

In North Carolina, he lent his support to the early efforts to establish a system of public education, helped improve trade and transportation and sought to reform the penal code and judicial system. One of his appointees to the bench was instrumental in the organization of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

In 1825, President John Quincy Adams appointed Miller a diplomatic agent to Guatemala. He died of yellow fever en route to assume his new post, and was probably buried at sea.

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