Thomas Barker, a native of Rhode Island, arrived in Edenton, NC in 1735 and by 1741 moved to a plantation in Bertie Co., NC. He began a political career being a clerk in the Lower House of Commons in 1736, a member of the NC Assembly from Bertie County in 1742 and selected as Public Treasurer for the northern district. He was a successful attorney in Edenton, NC and continued in politics and was chosen to represent the NC colony in England in 1761. After living in England, the Revolutionary War broke out and he could not get back to North Carolina until 1778. After his extended absence, Barker was no longer a citizen by law and had to take the oath of Allegiance to stop the forfeiture of his property to the State. In 1779, he was granted citizenship and retired from public service.