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Langdon Cheves
Birth: Sep. 17, 1776
Abbeville County
South Carolina, USA
Death: Jun. 26, 1857
Columbia
Richland County
South Carolina, USA

US Congressman, Speaker of the House and President of the Bank of the United States. Cheves was born in the upstate of South Carolina, then Indian territory. His mother died while still very young and he was raised by his aunt, who would later be killed by Indians. His father was thought to be a loyalist and left South Carolina during the Revolution. When Cheves was ten years old the family moved to Charleston where he began work as a clerk for a local merchant. After some private study he began to study law in the office of William Marshall. By the end of 1797 he was admitted to the bar and established what eventually became a highly successful practice. In the next few years his political activity increased and his interest in practicing law decreased. By 1802 he became warden for Charleston and later elected to the South Carolina House from the parish of St. Philip & St. Michael for the Fifteenth General Assembly. He was again elected to the Seventeenth and Eighteenth General Assemblies serving from 1806 through 1809. In 1808 Cheves was elected Attorney General of South Carolina and resigned from the House. That same year he was a presidential elector for James Madison. During the next few years he served on numerous local committees and boards and in 1811 was elected to the United States House of Representatives to the Twelfth Congress. However, prior to filling that office he was chosen in a special election to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Robert Marion and took his seat on January 24, 1811 in the Eleventh Congress (1809 to 1811). In 1811, Langdon Cheves, John C. Calhoun, William Lowndes, Henry Clay and Felix Grundy constituted the "War Mess" in Congress. They were the authors of the war of 1812. On November 5, 1811. Cheves was made Chairman of the Select Committee to look after Naval affairs and he began by calling attention to the fact that the Navy had been treated with great neglect and that the nation was destined to be a great Naval power. Many in Congress were outraged at this idea, not only due to the cost, but the mere fact of having a Navy was threatening to other countries. Because of his stance Cheves was removed from his Naval post and made Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. While chairman of the Ways and Means committee he continued to press on to build a larger Navy and ultimately appropriations were approved and the Navy would be funded for additional vessels. On June 18, 1812 war was declared against England. On January 19, 1814 he was elected to Speaker of the House succeeding Henry Clay. In December of 1814 Cheves was appointed Chief Commissioner under the Treaty of Ghent and served until negotiations were closed. His term as congressman ended in 1815 and he elected not to run for re-election. He moved back to Charleston where he was appointed Judge of the South Carolina Courts. On February 20, 1819 Cheves resigned as Associate Justice of South Carolina and on March 6, 1819 was unanimously elected President of the United States Bank. The decision to accept this position vitally affected the whole course of his life. On February 8, 1819, he declined appointment by the President to the Bench of the Supreme Court because of his promise in regard to the Bank Presidency. After solvency returned to the United States Bank Cheves remained in Pennsylvania living in Lancaster. He would open a practice of law and remained in Lancaster until 1829 when he felt a desire to return home. He would share time at his residence in Columbia with his summer home in Calhoun County as well as a home in Pendleton, South Carolina. After his public service concluded he spent most of the remainder of his life in planting pursuit. Cheves and his wife would have fourteen children and ten of those would predecease Cheves. Judge Belton O'Neall wrote of Cheves "Had he remained in Congress he would most assuredly have been President of the United States, had he not left the Bench in South Carolina he would probably have succeeded Chief Justice Marshall in the Courts of the United States, and certainly would have been a judge second to him only". Judge Huger sums him up by saying that "Cheves loved truth, and to it he sacrificed everything". Cheves is considered one of the "Fathers of the Navy" along with John Calhoun and William Lowndes. The Navy would honor Cheves by naming one of their brigs after him. Langdon would die in the capital of South Carolina afflicted by an earlier stroke. His last days were spent with his daughter Louisa McCord and his numerous grandchildren. (bio by: Saratoga) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Alexander Cheves (1741 - 1801)
 
 Spouse:
  Mary Elizabeth Dulles Cheves (1789 - 1836)*
 
 Children:
  Sophie Lovell Cheves Haskell (1809 - 1881)*
  Louisa Susanna Charles McCord (1810 - 1879)*
  Andrew Heatley Cheves (1812 - 1831)*
  Langdon Cheves (1814 - 1863)*
  John Richardson Cheves (1815 - 1869)*
  Anna Maria Cheves Huger (1822 - 1884)*
  Charles Manly Cheves (1825 - 1855)*
  Robert Hayne Cheves (1829 - 1856)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Magnolia Cemetery
Charleston
Charleston County
South Carolina, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: K
Record added: Nov 07, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 8068657
Langdon Cheves
Added by: Tim Crutchfield
 
Langdon Cheves
Added by: Michael Dover
 
Langdon Cheves
Added by: Stonewall
 
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