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Arthur Middleton (June 26, 1742 – January 1, 1787) is a founding father of America. Middleton was a member of South Carolina's Council of Safety (against enemies of the colony), a body that virtually ruled the province until a provisional government was established. His father was Henry Middleton, President of the First Continental Congress; Arthur Middleton was elected to take his father's seat as South Carolina's delegate to the Second Continental Congress. Middleton was also a prisoner-of-war during the American Revolution.
Henry Middleton's eldest was born at the family mansion, Middleton Place, near Charleston, South Carolina. At age 12, his father sent him to England for his education. After Arthur graduated from Cambridge in 1773, he went on a tour of Europe. He returned to America and married Mary Izzard. Arthur became a justice of the peace and served as a delegate to the provincial assembly. He traveled in Europe with his wife, and on the couple's return to Middleton Place he acquired rice plantations.
In 1774, the colonies where positioning themselves for independence from Britain. Arthur and his father Henry chose liberty and sided with their fellow colonists. He took a firm and decided stand in opposition to British encroachment and oppression. Arthur headed the Charleston Council of Safety in 1775 and in 1776, he filled the seat his father occupied in the Second Continental Congress. He continued as a member of Congress, residing with his family, who had accompanied him at the close of 1777.
In 1779, the British invaded the southern colonies. Middleton fought to defend Charleston. The British took Charleston and Middleton was captured. He was taken prisoner by Sir Henry Clinton and sent to St. Mark's Castle in St. Augustine as a prisoner. Together with Thomas Heyward Jr. and Edward Rutledge, Arthur languished over a year before being traded in a prisoner swap. He returned to find all his property looted; the buildings were left standing, but all his wealth was destroyed.
Middleton reunited with his family after completing his term in Congress 1782. He declined his seat in Congress after the war, preferring to spend retirement with his family.
In the winter of 1786, Arthur contracted a fever and died on January 1.
- Arthur Middleton, USHistory.org
- Arthur Middleton, Virtuology.org