Edward Rutledge

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Founding Fathers
Edward Rutledge
State South Carolina
Religion Christian- Episcopalian [1]
Founding Documents Declaration of Independence

Edward Rutledge (November 23, 1749 – January 23, 1800) is an American founding father, captain of Charleston Battalion of Artillery, prisoner of war, Governor of South Carolina, delegate to the Continental Congress from South Carolina who helped draft the Articles of Confederation and signed the Declaration of Independence.

Early life

Edward was born in Charleston, South Carolina the youngest of Dr. John Rutledge's seven children. He had a classical education and his older brother John would mentor him in law studies. He was a student of Oxford university in England and Temple for his bar. Also, spent four years in the houses of parliament. With his English bar he returned to Charleston to practice law with his partner, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney.[2] All this was accomplished by his early twenties.

Rutledge married the wealthy Henrietta Middleton, and they had three children. He remarried to Mary Shubrick and they had no children.


Edward became the youngest member of the Continental Congress, at age 27. He was selected to sit on the important War and Ordinance Committee. Rutledge opposed independence led the effort against the Lee Resolution.[3] Afterwards he was singled out as the person responsible for delaying the vote.[4] He would vote for independence, becoming the youngest of the Signers. Six-months later he had joined the South Carolina militia. Subsequently, he was re-elected to Congress but did not return to Philadelphia.

Edward, his brother-and-law Arthur Middleton, and fellow Founder Thomas Heyward Jr. were all imprisoned when Charleston was captured by the British. The three were imprisoned at St. Augustine at Castle St. Mark's, now known as the Castillo de San Marcos.[5] While captured, they showed their defiance to the crown by changing the words of "God Save the King" to "God Save the Thirteen States". He would be released from prison after a negotiated prisoner swap in 1781.[6]

After the war Rutledge became the governor of South Carolina in 1798. He would only live two more years, dying before his term was complete.


  1. http://www.adherents.com/gov/Founding_Fathers_Religion.html
  2. St. Philip's Church of Charleston: An Early History of the Oldest Parish in South Carolina
  3. Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our Sacred Honor: The Forging of American Independence, 1774-1776
  4. Edward Rutledge EdwardRutledge.com
  5. Historical Traveler's Guide to Florida
  6. Jefferson's Masterpiece: The Story of the Declaration of Independence for Young Readers