Waightstill Avery, the first attorney general of North Carolina, was born in Groton, Connecticut. He attended Princeton College and later taught at the college.
He then studied law. After completing his training, he moved to North Carolina. He lived in Salisbury and then moved to Charlotte where he boarded with Hezekiah Alexander. He was a resident of Charlotte when he was elected to the provincial assembly.
Avery served on the committee that passed the Mecklenburg Resolves in May of 1775. He served on the provincial council. In 1776 he served on the committee that drew up the first North Carolina constitution. He served from Burke County on the House of Commons from 1782-1785 and 1783 and was elected to the senate in 1796.
Waightstill Avery died at Morganton and is buried in a family graveyard.
Biographical History of North Carolina, Vol. 7, by Samuel A. Ashe, editor. Greensboro, NC: Charles L Van Noppen, 1908
Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Vol. I , pp. 66-67, by William S. Powell, editor, University of N.C Press.