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John Haywood (politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


John Haywood ii
2nd North Carolina State Treasurer
In office
Preceded byMemucan Hunt
Succeeded byWilliam S. Robards
Personal details
Born(1755-02-23)February 23, 1755
Edgecombe County, Province of North Carolina
DiedNovember 18, 1827(1827-11-18) (aged 73)
Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, USA
Spouse(s)Sarah Leigh (d. 1791);
Eliza Williams
Children1 son with Sarah;
12 children with Eliza
ResidenceRaleigh, Wake County, North Carolina
OccupationNorth Carolina Senate clerk, North Carolina State Treasurer

John Haywood (born Edgecombe County, North Carolina, February 23, 1755; died Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, November 18, 1827[1]) was an American politician, who was the longest-serving North Carolina State Treasurer (forty years, from 1787 until his death).[2][3]

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Early and family life

Haywood's father was North Carolina politician, judge and patriot William Haywood (1730-79),who had married Charity Hare (of Hertford County, North Carolina), who bore nine children, including banker Sherwood Haywood.[4]. This John Haywood was named for his grandfather, another John Haywood (1685-), who was born in Barbados, arrived in North Carolina about 1730 and became active in local politics.

For many years this John Haywood and his first wife, Sarah Leigh,[1] used their new premises to entertain official state dignitaries.[3] Sarah gave John one son, named Leigh.[1]

After Sarah died in 1791, John remarried, on March 9, 1798, Eliza Eagles Asaph Williams, by whom he had 12 children, including sons William Haywood, John S. Haywood, Ernest Haywood, Dr. Edmund Burke Haywood,[5] and Dr. Fabius Haywood.


Haywood began public service in 1781 as clerk of the State Senate, and held this office for five years, after which the state legislature elected him the state Treasurer, a position he would hold forty years, until his death. Haywood also became the first Intendant of Police, or Mayor, of Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1795.[1]

Financial scandal

In 1820 "Treasurer John," one of the most popular men in the state, was accused of "abusing his trust." The legislature promptly exonerated him following an inquiry, but an examination of the records after his death in 1827 disclosed that public funds in excess of $68,000 were, in fact, unaccounted for. That was a massive shortfall in those days – more than half the state's entire budget for the year. Haywood's heirs reimbursed the state nearly $48,000 for the missing money, but examiners shortly afterward discovered an additional shortage of almost $22,000 in Cherokee bonds, revenue from the sale of public lands in western North Carolina.[3]

The historian William K. Boyd commented that the accounting of public funds in those days was deficient in three respects: "First, the comptroller did not have oversight of the actual money in the treasury; the auditing by the comptroller did not include all state funds; and the method of bonding the treasurer was not adequate."[6] In 1784 a law had been enacted requiring the Treasurer to post a bond in the amount of "one hundred thousand pounds," but an 1801 statute reduced the amount of the required bond to a sum equal to the balance of existing treasury funds, plus estimated annual revenue for the following year. It stipulated moreover that no penalty would be imposed for failure to comply with the requirement.[3]

Although banks were operating in Raleigh and throughout North Carolina, Haywood preferred to keep the state's money in a "Public Chest" in his office, dipping into it as necessary to pay governmental and perhaps personal expenses.[3] Since he had posted no bond from 1826 to 1827, when the shortfall was discovered in his accounts, state officials had no practical means of recovering the missing money.

They took Haywood's estate to court, but to no avail. The court held that the executor had properly dispersed all but slightly more than $7,000 of Haywood's assets. This meager sum was duly awarded to the state, minus a small amount for his widow's dower rights.[3]

Death and legacy

When Haywood died in Raleigh in 1827, "a great procession was given in his honor and his funeral was conducted in the Presbyterian Church by Reverend Doctor McPheeters".[1] The legislature elected his son, John S. Haywood, to succeed him as treasurer, but the son declined the office, as the magnitude of his father's malfeasance was becoming clear.[3] From 1797 to 1809, Haywood owned Locust Grove plantation at Ingleside, North Carolina. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.[7][8]

When a law was passed requiring state officials to live in Raleigh, Haywood bought land bounded by New Bern, Blount, Edenton and Person Streets, and built Haywood Hall. Although it was sold to pay his debts because of the scandal noted above, it survives today. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970, and remains a popular venue for small groups.[3][9]Haywood Hall was .[7]

Haywood County was named in his honor during his lifetime (it was created in 1808),[10] and he also subsequently had a town named after him in Chatham County.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Biographical detail Archived 2005-04-05 at the Wayback Machine: Haywood Hall website.
  2. ^ Mitchell, Thornton W. (1988). "John Haywood". Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Further profile on Haywood Archived 2008-03-13 at the Wayback Machine: North Carolina Department of the State Treasurer website.
  4. ^ Mitchell, Thornton W. (1988). "Sherwood Haywood". Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  5. ^ Haywood, Marshall De Lancey (1988). "Edmund Burke Haywood". Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  6. ^ William K. Boyd, History of North Carolina, Vol. II, The Federal Period 1783-1860 (Chicago and New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1919), p.109-113.
  7. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  8. ^ John Baxton Flowers, III; Catherine W. Cockshutt (August 1975). "Locust Grove" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2014-11-01.
  9. ^ J. G. Zehmer; Sherry Ingram (May 1970). "Haywood Hall" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2015-05-01.
  10. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 153.
Political offices
Preceded by
Memucan Hunt
Treasurer of North Carolina
Succeeded by
William S. Robards
This page was last edited on 5 October 2019, at 00:44
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