Our Back Rhodes Genealogy Pages


From the book entitle: Dictionary of North Carolina biography, Volume 5 Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, William Stevens Powell
Author: William S. Powell
Editors: William S. Powell, William Stevens Powell
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press, 1994
ISBN: 0807821004, 9780807821008

Henry Rhodes (1715?-December 1780), colonial office­holder and Revolutionary leader, was the son of Henry and Mary Rhodes. In 1751 he inherited his father's "manner plantation," in Onslow County, where the county militia mustered and trained in October 1754 and per­haps at other times as well. In 1758 he was one of the ex­ecutors of the will of James Gray. His earliest public ser­vice apparently was as a justice of the peace for Onslow County; commissioned by Governor Arthur Dobbs, he took the oath of office on 4 Jan. 1759 and remained a jus­tice for the rest of his life. On 3 July 1759 he was also sworn in as sheriff of the county, a position he held longer than any other colonial sheriff in North Carolina.
Early in 1774 he was elected to represent Onslow County in the House of Commons of the colonial Assem­bly and attended sessions that met in New Bern on 4-7 Apr. 1775. He also served in the Second Provincial Con­gress, which met on 3-7 April at the same time. These were sessions of the final royal legislature and the begin­ning of the state government. Both bodies were com­posed of virtually the same men meeting in the same hall, the Congrcss an hour before the Assembly. Rhodes again represented his county in the Third and the Fifth Provincial Congresses (August-September 1775 and No­vember-December 1776). It was at the last of these meet­ings that a constitution for the state was drawn up. The congresses took the steps necessary to form a civil gov­ernment for North Carolina as well as to lay the founda­tions for military activity.
Although there is nothing to suggest that Rhodes engaged in active military scrvice, he was made lieutenant colonel of the Onslow militia on 9 Sept. 1775, and his ap­pointment was renewed on 22 Apr. 1776. Thmigh few participants are identified in surviving records, Rhodes probably was present at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge with his command of minutemen. He was serving as a county justice in 1776 and 1777 when he also was a member of the county committee of safety and of the Council of Safety for the Wilmington District. Rhodes's name was mentioned for appointment to the Council of State but, instead, he was appointed treasurer of the Wilmington District. As a member of the legislature Rhodes was one of the commissioners named in 1778 to superintend the printing of bills of credit for the state. His commission was renewed in 1779 and in 1780, and he was the only member to serve all three years. The commission produced paper money for North Carolina. Rhodes's first wife was Mary Wood house (d. 5 June 1769), and they were the parents of Sarah, Elizabeth, Woodhouse, Aliff, and Mary. On 15 Aug. 1770 he mar­ried Elizabeth Ward, by whom he had two more chil­dren: Henry, who died as a young man while attending school in Wilmington, and Henrietta.
Deeds indicated that Rhodes was buried in a family cemetery at Stones Creek plantation, where his father had lived and was buried in the Stone Bay area on property later occupied by Camp Lejeune The grave was not found, however, when the site was acquired for the mili­tary base.
SHE: Joseph Parsons Brown, The Commonwealth of Onslow: A History (1960); John L Cheney, Jr., ed., North Carolina Government, 1585-1979 (1981); Walter Clark, ed.. State Records of North Carolina, vols. 12-13,21-24 (1895-1905); J. Bryan Grimes, ed.. Abstract of North Carolina Wilts (1910); The Heritage of Onslow County (1983); John T. Rhodes to William S. Powell, 12 Sept. 1992; William L. Saunders, ed.. Colonial Records of North Carolina, vols. 8-10(1890).

WILLIAM S. POWELL