US Supreme Court Justice, Governor of South Carolina, Member of Continental Congress, Signer of US Constitution. After studying law in England he returned to his hometown of Charleston South Carolina where he not only practiced law but expanded his family's a successful agricultural business. In 1761 his political career began when he was elected to a seat in the provincial assembly. While he supported self government for the colonies he pleaded for restraint in breaking relationships off with England. He continued that moderate stance when sent to the First Continental Congress in 1774. The following year he served in the Second Continental Congress before returning to South Carolina to help reorganize its government and write a state constitution. In 1779 he was elected governor. During his three year term he dealt with the British invasion and the Siege of Charleston. After escaping to North Carolina he enlisted the aide of General Nathanael Greene and in 1781 returned to South Carolina and reestablished the government. The following year he resigned his seat. After the Revolutionary War the former governor was returned to the Continental Congress serving from 1782 to 1783 before serving in the state legislature from 1784 to 1790. As a delegate to the US Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia he used his powers of persuasion to protect southern interests. He was a powerful member serving as chairman of the Committee of Detail, attending every session and speaking often. In 1789 he was appointed, by George Washington , as an associate justice of the US Supreme Court. He resigned in 1791 and returned to South Carolina to become Chief Justice on the state Supreme Court. In 1795 Washington appointed the jurist to return to the US Supreme Court this time as Chief Justice. Rutledge presided over one term but the Senate refused to confirm his appointment so he returned to Charleston where he died five years later.
Bio by: Bigwoo
Elizabeth Grimke Rutledge