A South Carolina Genealogy:Information about John Rutledge
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Governor John Rutledge (b. 09 September 1739, d. 23 July 1800)John Rutledge (son of John Rutledge and Sarah Hext) was born 09 September 1739 in Charleston, South Carolina, and died 23 July 1800 in Charleston, South Carolina.He married Elizabeth Grimke on 01 May 1763 in Charleston, South Carolina, daughter of Frederick K. Grimke and Martha Emmes.
Notes for John Rutledge:
RUTLEDGE, John, chief justice, was born in Charleston, S.C., in 1739; son of Dr. John Rutledge, who emigrated from Ireland in 1735, married a Miss Hexe, and died in 1749, at Charleston. He studied law at the Temple, London, returned to Charleston in 1761, established a practice, and was married in 1763, to Elizabeth Grimké. He was attorney-general pro tempore, in 1764, a delegate to the Continental congress, 1774?77 and 1782?83; a member of the provincial convention of 1774; chairman of the committee that framed the constitution of 1776; and on March 27, 1776, was elected president of the provincial government and commander-in-chief of the militia. He advocated the fortification of Charleston against the threatened invasion by Sir Henry Clinton and Commodore Parker; held the post on Sullivan's Island, contrary to the advice of Gen. Charles Lee, and planned the successful defence of Charleston. He resigned his office in March, 1778, as he did not approve of the changes made in the state constitution, but was again chosen governor by the unanimous vote of the legislature in 1779. He commanded the militia against Gen. Augustine Provost, in May, 1779, and when Charleston was captured May 12, 1779, by Sir Henry Clinton, he left the city with his council and took refuge in North Carolina, and used every effort to relieve the city by cooperating with Generals Gates and Greene in reorganizing the army. His term of office ended in 1782, and he was succeeded by Governor Matthews. He was elected state chancellor, March 21, 1784; was a delegate to the Philadelphia convention that adopted the Federal constitution; was a member of the state convention that ratified the constitution; a delegate from South Carolina in the national convention to elect a president and vice-president in 1789, and received six electoral votes. On Sept. 26, 1789, he was appointed an associate justice of the supreme court of the United States, serving 1789?91; was chief justice of South Carolina, 1791?95; and was appointed chief justice of the United States supreme court by President Washington in 1795. He presided at the August term of the court, but on Dec. 15, 1795, the senate refused to confirm the nomination. His mind failed in December, 1795, and he died at Charleston, S.C., July 23, 1800. [p.205]
Johnson, Rossiter, ed. Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans. Volumes I-X. Boston, MA: The Biographical Society, 1904.
John Rutledge, elder brother of Edward Rutledge, signer of the Declaration of Independence <..>, was born into a large family at or near Charleston, SC, in 1739. He received his early education from his father, an Irish immigrant and physician, and from an Anglican minister and a tutor. After studying law at London's Middle Temple in 1760, he was admitted to English practice. But, almost at once, he sailed back to Charleston to begin a fruitful legal career and to amass a fortune in plantations and slaves. Three years later, he married Elizabeth Grimke, who eventually bore him 10 children, and moved into a townhouse, where he resided most of the remainder of his life.
In 1761 Rutledge became politically active. That year, on behalf of Christ Church Parish, he was elected to the provincial assembly and held his seat until the War for Independence. For 10 months in 1764 he temporarily held the post of provincial attorney general. When the troubles with Great Britain intensified about the time of the Stamp Act in 1765, Rutledge, who hoped to ensure continued self-government for the colonies, sought to avoid severance from the British and maintained a restrained stance. He did, however, chair a committee of the Stamp Act Congress that drew up a petition to the House of Lords.
In 1774 Rutledge was sent to the First Continental Congress, where he pursued a moderate course. After spending the next year in the Second Continental Congress, he returned to South Carolina and helped reorganize its government. In 1776 he served on the committee of safety and took part in the writing of the state constitution. That year, he also became president of the lower house of the legislature, a post he held until 1778. During this period, the new government met many stern tests.
In 1778 the conservative Rutledge, disapproving of democratic revisions in the state constitution, resigned his position. The next year, however, he was elected as governor. It was a difficult time. The British were invading South Carolina, and the military situation was desperate. Early in 1780, by which time the legislature had adjourned, Charleston was besieged. In May it fell, the American army was captured, and the British confiscated Rutledge's property. He ultimately escaped to North Carolina and set about attempting to rally forces to recover South Carolina. In 1781, aided by Gen. Nathanael Greene and a new Continental Army force, he reestablished the government. In January 1782 he resigned the governorship and took a seat in the lower house of the legislature. He never recouped the financial losses he suffered during the war.
In 1782-83 Rutledge was a delegate to the Continental Congress. He next sat on the state chancery court (1784) and again in the lower house of the legislature (1784-90). One of the most influential delegates at the Constitutional Convention, where he maintained a moderate nationalist stance and chaired the Committee of Detail, he attended all the sessions, spoke often and effectively, and served on five committees. Like his fellow South Carolina delegates, he vigorously advocated southern interests.
The new government under the Constitution soon lured Rutledge. He was a Presidential elector in 1789 and Washington then appointed him as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, but for some reason he apparently served only a short time. In 1791 he became chief justice of the South Carolina supreme court. Four years later, Washington again appointed him to the U.S. Supreme Court, this time as Chief Justice to replace John Jay. But Rutledge's outspoken opposition to Jay'sTreaty (1794), and the intermittent mental illness he had suffered from since the death of his wife in 1792, caused the Federalist-dominated Senate to reject his appointment and end his public career. Meantime, however, he had presided over one term of the Court.
Rutledge died in 1800 at the age of 60 and was interred at St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Charleston.
President and Governor of South Carolina; Chief Justice of South Carolina; Chief Justice of United States Supreme Court 1795; Member of U.S. Congress; framer and signerof our Constitution.
RUTLEDGE, John (brother of Edward Rutledge and father of John Rutledge, Jr.), a Delegate from South Carolina; born in Christ Church Parish, S.C., in 1739; pursued classical studies; studied law in Charleston and later at the Middle Temple in London; returned to Charleston, S.C., and commenced practice in 1761; elected to the provincial assembly in 1762; attorney general pro tempore in 1764 and 1765; delegate to the Stamp Act Congress at New York City in 1765 and, although the youngest member of the Congress, was made chairman of the committee that drafted the memorial and petition to the House of Lords; continued the practice of law; Member of the Continental Congress 1774-1776; served as President and commander in chief of South Carolina 1776-1778 and as Governor 1779-1782; again a Member of the Continental Congress in 1782 and 1783; appointed Minister to Holland in 1783 but declined; elected one of the State chancellors in 1784; delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787; member of the State convention to ratify the Federal Constitution in 1788; received the electoral vote of South Carolina for Vice President in 1789; Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court 1789-1791; elected chief justice of South Carolina in 1790 and served until 1795, when he resigned; nominated in 1795 to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and presided at the August term, but the Senate on December 15, 1795, refused to confirm him; died in Charleston, S.C., July 23, 1800; interment in St. Michael's Churchyard.
Unquestionalbly the great character of South Carolina during the Revolution was John Rutledge, who was for a time invested with dictatorial powers. He possessed all the qualities which constitute the man born to win and command--an eloquence of astonishing power, and a daring and decision of will which always placed him before his fellow-countrymen.
He was born in South Carolina in 1739. In 1761 he commenced the practice of law, and soon became eminent in his profession. He was sent a delegate to the first Continental Congress which met at New York in 1765; and "the members of the distant provinces were surprised at the eloquence of the young member from Carolina." At the commencement of the Revolution he was by successive elections a member of Congress till the year 1776, when he was elected president and commander-in-chief of South Carolina, in conformity to a constitution established by the people in that year. In this office he rendered important service to his country. General Lee, who commanded the continental troops, pronounced Sullivan's Island to be a "slaughter-pen," and either gave orders, or was disposed to give them, for its evacuation. The troops which Carolina had raised before Congress had declared independence, remained subject to the authority of the State, and at this early period were not under the command of the officers of Congress. To prevent the evacuation of thc fort on Sullivan's Island, President Rutledge, shortly before the commencement of the action on the 28th of June, 1776, wrote the following laconic note to General Moultrie, who had the command on the island: " General Lee wishes you to evacuate the fort. You will not do it without an order from me. I would sooner cut off my hand than write one. JOHN RUTLEDGE." In 1778 he resigned the office of president; but at the next election he was reinstated in the executive authority of the State, under a new constitution, with the name of governor, substituted in the place of president. In 1784 he was elected a judge of the court of chancery in South Carolina. In 1787 he assisted in framing a national constitution; and as soon as it was in operation, he was designated by President Washington as first associate judge of the supreme court of the United States. In 1791 he was elected chief-justice of South Carolina. He was afterward appointed chief-justice of thc United States. "Thus for more than thirty years, with few short intervals, he served his country in one or other of the departments of government; and in all with fidelity and ability."
Mr. Rutledge died on the 23d of January, 1800. He was one of the greatest men whom this country has produced. To his government during the war in South Carolina, is to be attributed in a great degree the successful termination to which it was brought. He possessed a quick penetration, and soon perceived the superior merit of Greene, Sumpter, Marion, and Pickens, whose operations he seconded with great energy and skill. Although invested with dictatorial powers, he never gave occasion. for complaint, and retained the confidence of the patriots to the end.
RUTLEDGE, John, (brother of Edward Rutledge and father of John Rutledge, Jr.), a Delegate from South Carolina; born in Christ Church Parish, S.C., in 1739; pursued classical studies; studied law in Charleston and later at the Middle Temple in London; returned to Charleston, S.C., and commenced practice in 1761; elected to the provincial assembly in 1762; attorney general pro tempore in 1764 and 1765; delegate to the Stamp Act Congress at New York City in 1765; continued the practice of law; Member of the Continental Congress 1774-1775; served as President and commander in chief of South Carolina 1776-1778 and as Governor 1779-1782; again a Member of the Continental Congress in 1782 and 1783; elected one of the State chancellors in 1784; delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787; member of the State ratification convention in 1788; received the electoral vote of South Carolina for Vice President in 1789; Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court 1789-1791; elected chief justice of South Carolina in 1790 and served until 1795, when he resigned; nominated in 1795 to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and presided at the August term, but the Senate on December 15, 1795, refused to confirm him; died in Charleston, S.C., July 23, 1800; interment in St. Michael's Churchyard.
DAB; Barry, Richard H. Mr. Rutledge of South Carolina. 1942. Reprint. Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press, 1971.
More About John Rutledge:
Date born 2: 09 September 1739, Christ Church Parish, Charleston, South Carolina.
Burial: St. Michael's Churchyard, Charleston, South Carolina.
Died 2: 21 June 1800, Charleston, South Carolina.648
More About John Rutledge and Elizabeth Grimke:
Marriage 1: 01 May 1763, Charleston, South Carolina.
Marriage 2: 05 September 1763, Charleston, South Carolina.
Marriage Notes for John Rutledge and Elizabeth Grimke:
Marriage Notices in The South-Carolina Gazette and its successors (1732-1801.)
Last Sunday evening, John Rutledge, Esq., attorney at law, was married to Miss Elizabeth Grimke, daughter of Frederick Grimke, Esq. (Saturday, May 7, 1763.)
Children of John Rutledge and Elizabeth Grimke are:
- +Elizabeth Rutledge, b. 25 January 1776, Charleston , South Carolina, d. 1842, South Carolina.