John Rutledge


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John RutledgeRutledge, JOHN, jurist; born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1739; studied law in London; returned to Charleston in 1761; and soon afterwards rose to eminence in his profession. In 1765 he was a member of the Stamp Act Congress that met in New York City; in 1774 of the South Carolina convention of patriots; and of the first Continental Congress, at Philadelphia, the same year. He was also in Congress in 1775, and was chairman of the convention that framed the State constitution of South Carolina in 1776. By his vigilance and activity he saved Fort Moultrie from the effects of an order by General Lee to evacuate it when attacked by the British; and he was elected president of the State under the new constitution. In 1779 he was chosen governor, and the legislature made him a temporary dictator when Charleston was threatened with siege. In the fall of Charleston (May, 1780), Rutledge went to North Carolina, and accompanied the Southern army until 1782, when he was elected to Congress. He was chosen chancellor of South Carolina in 1784; was a member of the convention that framed the national Constitution (1787) ; appointed an associate-justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1789); elected chief-justice of South Carolina in 1791; and in 1795 was appointed chief-justice of the United States, but the Senate did not confirm him. He died in Charleston, South Carolina, July 23, 1800.



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