Governor Williams, 1802

Jan. 25, 2021

Governor Williams, 1802

Benjamin Williams was born near Smithfleld, North Carolina on 1 January 1751.  He served in the North Carolina Provincial Congress 1774-75 and was a colonel in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.  After serving in the North Carolina Senate, he was elected to the House of Representatives of the United States, serving 1793-1795.  Williams was elected governor of North Carolina 1799-1802 and 1807-1808, died in Moore County, North Carolina on 20 July 1814.

Builder: Unknown but was constructed in Wilmington, North Carolina

Length: 52'

Beam: 15'

Draft: 5' 8"

Displacement: ?

Rig: Galley with 2 lateen sails

Cost: ?

Launched: ?

Commissioned:  Transferred to USRM in 1802

Decommissioned: N/A

Disposition: Lost at sea, 1806

Complement: 28 (War Department)

Armament: 1 x 24-pounder; 5 or 6 howitzers (supplied by USN)

Cutter History:

Governor Williams was one of a group of galleys built at Wilmington in 1798.  These small vessels, authorized by Congress 4 May 1798, were built and equipped by the Navy Department but operated by the War Department as a kind of naval militia.

During the Quasi-War with France 1798-1801 Governor Williams cruised the coasts and inlets of North Carolina under Lawrence Dorsey, who held the rank of "Captain of a Galley."  After this service in defense of the coast of North Carolina, she was transferred to the Department of the Treasury Department's Revenue Cutter Service in 1802.  She was "lost at Ocracoke last September" (1806). 


Donald Canney.  U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.

Stephen H. Evans.  The United States Coast Guard, 1790-1915: A Definitive History (With a Postscript: 1915-1950).  Annapolis: The United States Naval Institute, 1949.

U.S. Coast Guard.  Record of Movements: Vessels of the United States Coast Guard: 1790 - December 31, 1933.  Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1934; 1989 (reprint).