This week, Kinston is celebrating its most famous resident, Richard Caswell (1729-1789). Caswell did it all: he was a delegate to the Continental Congress (although not a notable one), a leader of the General Assembly, a general, and, of course, the state’s first governor. When he wasn’t leading the government, he was out on the battlefield or writing to his oldest son, also a soldier, about the importance of carrying on the fight against British tyranny.
On Thursday, however, Caswell will get to do something he has never done before – play baseball. Caswell will be honored at the Kinston Indians game that night and a reenactor will throw out the first ball. It is fitting that he will be celebrated by the Indians because Caswell always had a cordial relationship with the state’s first inhabitants. A Cherokee leader once called him “the great beloved man of North Carolina,” but the team may be happy to celebrate his mock funeral on Friday if his presence doesn’t help bring them a win.