Nov. 23, 1749 Charleston Charleston County South Carolina, USA
Jan. 23, 1800 Charleston Charleston County South Carolina, USA
Signer of the Declaration of Independence from South Carolina, he was the youngest signer at age 26. His wife’s brother, Arthur Middleton, also signed the Declaration of Independence. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, he studied law with his older brother, John. Both boys were then sent to England to continue their legal studies, and Edward returned home in 1773 to set up a law practice in Charleston, SC. The next year he married Henrietta Middleton, a member of a prominent South Carolina family; they would have three children. Early on, Edward made his name as a patriot, by his legal work defending a printer who had defied British laws. Because of his beliefs in the patriot cause, he was elected to both the First and Second Continental Congress, from 1774 to 1776. When the trial vote for independence was taken on July 1, 1776, South Carolina initially rejected independence. Edward then worked to convince the other South Carolina delegates to support independence, with the result that when the actual vote came, South Carolina voted for independence. After the signing, Edward returned home to South Carolina to help defend his state. In the spring of 1780, the British captured him during the siege of Charleston, and he served a year as a prisoner of war in Florida. Since the entire Rutledge family supported independence, the British also imprisoned his mother, Sarah Hext Rutledge, in Charleston. After the Revolutionary War, he served in the state legislature, and from 1798 to 1800, he was Governor of South Carolina. His wife, Henrietta, died in 1792, and later that year he married Mary Shubrick Everleigh. When former President George Washington died on December 14, 1799, the news of his death so upset Governor Rutledge that he suffered a stroke soon after hearing of Washington’s death, and died at the age of fifty. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson)
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Proud to have you as my ancestor. Rest in Peace for eternity. See you on the other side. My 1st cousin, 8 times removed. -
Kathi Murray Added: Apr. 11, 2016
Remembering you on the anniversary of your passing. May you rest in peace and may God richly bless you. Thank you for your courage and voting for independence from Britain. You are a true American. -
Jeffrey Maksymowski Added: Jan. 23, 2016