John Rutledge (1739-1800) was a wealthy planter and successful lawyer, a leader in South Carolina's colonial Commons House of Assembly, and a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses. As chief executive of the state during most of the War for Independence, he was instrumental in its defense and recovery after the British conquest of 1780. One of the leading delegates to the United States constitutional convention in 1787, he served as chief justice of South Carolina, and briefly as associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Edward Rutledge (1749-1800), also trained as a lawyer, was a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. As a leader in the state legislature in the 1780s and 1790s and as governor, he had great influence in state and national politics.
While providing insight into the remarkable lives and careers of the Rutledges, this account also serves as a fascinating history of the American Revolution and the formation of a new nation.
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