1917 photo of oil portrait on display in Mississippi Hall of Fame
|Governor of the Mississippi Territory|
|William C. C. Claiborne|
|Born||July 12, 1773|
Surry County, North Carolina
|Died||January 25, 1836 (aged 62)|
Ouachita Parish, Louisiana
|Resting place||Bon Aire plantation near Monroe, Louisiana|
Robert Williams (July 7, 1773 – January 25, 1836) was Governor of the Mississippi Territory from 1805 to 1809.
In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson appointed Williams to the federal commission empowered to determine the legitimacy of land claims in the recently acquired Mississippi Territory. In May, 1805 Jefferson appointed him Governor, and he served until the end of Jefferson's term in March, 1809. During his term as Governor Williams became unpopular as the result of a dispute with territorial Secretary Cowles Mead, with each accusing the other of having been sympathetic to Aaron Burr's alleged conspiracy.
After the 1814 death of his wife in Washington, Mississippi, Williams moved to a plantation near Monroe, Louisiana which he called Bon Aire. He operated Bon Aire until his death in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana on January 25, 1836. He was buried at Bon Aire, but the exact location of the grave is not known. It is the present day site of the Baptist Children's Home and Sellers Baptist Maternity Home in Monroe.
Robert Williams' brother Lewis served as a Congressman from North Carolina, and his brother John served in the United States Senate from Tennessee. His cousin Marmaduke Williams also represented North Carolina in the U.S. House.
Robert Williams (1766-1836) is sometimes confused with a cousin named Robert Williams, who was born in 1768 and died in 1831, and who was active in North Carolina politics and government at the same time.