north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

     Dempsey Burgess, Revolutionary War political leader, was born in 1751 in Pasquotank County, the son of John Burgess, a Baptist minister. His mother’s name remains unknown. Little is known of Burgess’s early life, although presumably it was spent in agricultural pursuits.

     Burgess entered politics in 1773 as a member of the Colonial Assembly representing Pasquotank County. In 1775-1776 he served in the provincial congresses held at Halifax and Hilllsborough alongside his friend Isaac Gregory. When Camden County was formed in 1777, Burgess joined Gregory on the committee to design and lay out the new courthouse and county jail.

     Burgess’s Revolutionary War military career consisted of appointments as major and lieutenant colonel of the Pasquotank County militia. After the war, Burgess returned to farming. Elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1795, Burgess held office for two consecutive terms. In 1799 he retired to his plantation where he died on January 13, 1800, leaving a widow and four children.

William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, I, 271—sketch by Elmer D. Johnson
Biographical Dictionary of the American Congress (1971)
John H. Wheeler, Historical Sketches of North Carolina (1851)
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north carolina highway historical marker program

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