Dr. David Ramsey (1749-1815) was a physician and historian. Born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Ramsey attended local schools, the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), and the College of Pennsylvania, from which he received his medical degree in 1772. The following year he came to Charleston. There he married Martha, the daughter of Henry Laurens (see Henry Laurens). During the Revolutionary War, Ramsey served in the second and third General Assemblies, and was a surgeon in the state militia. In May 1780, he was captured in the fall of Charleston and was imprisoned in St. Augustine for eleven months. He twice was a delegate to the Continental Congress, serving as President Pro Tempore during his last term. He was elected to the state Senate for three terms, and served as president of that body for seven years. Ramsey wrote several books, including "The History of the Revolution In South Carolina," published in 1785. In May 1815, Ramsey died in Charleston from a gunshot wound he received during an attack by a crazed patient. Portrait by Rembrandt Peale (1778-1860).
Courtesy of the Gibbes Museum of Art/Carolina Art Association.