Francis Lister Hawks was born at Newbern, North Carolina, on the 10th of June 1798. A brilliant student, he graduated with honors from the university of North Carolina in 1815. After studying law under William Gaston, he served in the North Carolina House of Commons. Later he switched careers and entered the Episcopalian ministry in 1827 where he proved to be a notable preacher. His denomination made him their historian and he traveled to England to collect the necessary material, afterward writing three volumes on the subject. He wrote other historical works, Founded the New York Review and became the first president of Louisiana University (which merged with Tulane).