Son of an Irish immigrant doctor, Edward Rutledge (1749-1800) was born in Charleston where he received his early education. Later, he studied law at the Middle Temple in London, returning to South Carolina in 1773 to begin a law practice in Charleston. In 1774 he was appointed as a delegate to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. While in Philadelphia in 1776, Rutledge was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and he later served in the First and Second Provincial Congresses in South Carolina. Captured in the British invasion of Charleston, Rutledge was imprisoned in St. Augustine, Florida, for over a year. On his release in 1781, he returned to South Carolina where he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives where he served until 1796. In 1788 he participated in the state convention to ratify the Federal Constitution. He was also a member of the Convention to form a state constitution. Elected to the South Carolina Senate in 1796, Rutledge served until his election as governor of South Carolina in 1798. He remained in this position until his death in 1800.
Courtesy of the South Caroliniana Library.