Arthur Middleton (1742-1787) was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Born at Middleton Place on the Ashley River, Middleton was educated in South Carolina and in England at Hackney Academy and St. John's College, Cambridge, England. He studied law at the Middle Temple in London but never practiced. In 1763, he returned to South Carolina to become the planter at Middleton Place, and in 1765, became a member of the South Carolina Commons House of Assembly. During the Revolutionary crisis, Middleton emerged as a leader in the patriot faction of South Carolina while serving on the Council of Safety and in the First and Second Provincial Congresses. In 1776, he became a member of the 11-man committee delegated to prepare a state constitution, and that same year he was sent as one of the delegates to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, where he was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He served in the Congress until October 1777, when he returned to South Carolina to serve in the defense of Charleston. When the city was captured by the British in 1780, Middleton was taken prisoner and held in St. Augustine. After his release in 1781, he returned to Philadelphia to serve in the Continental Congress until the end of the war, in 1783. He returned to South Carolina where he served for several terms in the South Carolina House of Representatives and Senate. Middleton was elected governor in 1778, but declined the position. He died at The Oaks on Goose Creek on New Year's Day, 1787.
Courtesy of the Pratt Memorial Library.