Benjamin Williams was born near Smithfleld, N.C., 1 January 1751. He served in the North Carolina Provincial Congress 1774-75 and was a captain during the Revolutionary War. After serving in the North Carolina Senate, he was elected to the House of Representatives of the United States, serving 1793-1795. Williams was elected governor of North Carolina 1799-1802 and 1807-1808, died in Moore County, N.C., 20 July 1814.
(Gy: l. 52'; b. 15'; dph. 5’8" ; cpl. 28; a. 1 24-pdr., 5-6 how.)
Governor Williams was one of a group of galleys built at Wilmington, N.C. in 1798. These small vessels, authorized by Congress 4 May 1798, were built and equipped by the Navy Department but operated by the War Department as a kind of Naval Militia.
During the Quasi-War with France 1798-1801 Governor Williams cruised the coasts and inlets of North Carolina under Lawrence Dorsey, who held the rank of "Captain of a Galley." After this service in defense of the coast of North Carolina, she was transferred to the Department of the Treasury Revenue Cutter Service in 1802.