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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Hawkins, Micajah Thomas

by Mildred Martin Crow, 1988; Revised by SLNC Government and Heritage Library, December 2022

20 May 1790–22 Dec. 1858

Micajah Thomas Hawkins, legislator, congressman, and planter-enslaver, the youngest son of John and Sally Macon Hawkins, was born in Warren County. His paternal grandparents, Philemon and Delia Martin Hawkins, who migrated to North Carolina from Gloucester County, Va., about 1737, were among the first settlers in the area that became Bute County, which in 1779 was divided into Warren and Franklin counties. Micajah was the nephew of Congressman Nathaniel Macon and Benjamin Hawkins, a U.S. senator and an Indian agent.

Hawkins attended the Warrenton Academy and The University of North Carolina. During the War of 1812, he was a member of the Seventh Company, Third North Carolina Regiment. He attained the rank of major general in the North Carolina militia. Hawkins became a large-scale planter and enslaver. According to the 1840 census, he enslaved 105 people, 60 of whom were engaged in the work and management of Hawkins's agricultural practice.

At an early age Hawkins entered politics, serving in the North Carolina House of Commons in 1819 and 1820. In 1823 he moved to the state senate, where he remained until 1827. When Robert Porter resigned his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, Hawkins, a Democrat, was chosen to replace him in the Twenty-second Congress, taking his seat on 6 Jan. 1832. He was elected to the Twenty-third Congress and served for three successive terms thereafter, until 3 Mar. 1841. He declined to run for reelection in 1840.

Returning to North Carolina, Hawkins resumed his agricultural activities, but he was unable to resist the lure of politics. In 1846 he won another seat in the state senate, and in 1854–55 he was a member of the Council of State.

On 20 Sept. 1810, Hawkins married Priscilla M. Moss. Apparently she died childless. His second marriage, to Mariah E. Baker, who was thirty-nine years his junior, was performed on 13 Feb. 1849. They were the parents of two daughters and a son: Ella Thomas, Martha Hamlin, and John Harrison. Hawkins was buried in the family plot on his plantation in the Sandy Creek district of Warren County near Warrenton.


Biog. Dir. Am. Cong. (1971).

Family Bible records of Marshall De Lancey Haywood and wills of Warren County (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

Marriage records of Warren County (Tennessee Archives, Nashville).

U.S. Census, 1820–60, North Carolina.

Manly Wade Wellman, The County of Warren, North Carolina, 1856–1917 (1959).

John H. Wheeler, Historical Sketches of North Carolina (1851).

Who Was Who in America, 1607–1896 (1963).

Additional Resources:

"Hawkins, Micajah Thomas, (1790 - 1858)." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Washington, D.C.: The Congress. (accessed April 11, 2014).

Groves, Joseph Asbury. The Alstons and Allstons of North and South Carolina. Atlanta, Ga.: Franklin Printing and Publishing Company, 1901. 272. (accessed April 11, 2014).

Adams, John Quincy. Memoirs of John Quincy Adams, comprising portions of his diary from 1795 to 1848. Philadelphia, J.B. Lippincott & Co. 1874. 316. (accessed April 11, 2014).

Thomas Merritt Pittman (1857-1932) Collection, 1747-1934. State Archives of North Carolina. (accessed April 11, 2014).

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