Biography of John Rutledge
Celebrated Americans

JOHN RUTLEDGE, the second chief justice of the United States, was born at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1739. He was a son of John Rutledge, who had left Ireland for America about five years prior to the birth of our subject, and a brother of Edward Rutledge, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. John Rutledge received his legal education at the Temple, London, after which he returned to Charleston and soon won distinction at the bar. He was elected to the old Colonial congress in 1765 to protest against the "Stamp Act," and was a member of the South Carolina convention of 1774, and of the Centinental congress of that and the succeeding year. In 1776 he was chairman of the committee that draughted the constitution of his state, and was president of the congress of that state. He was not pleased with the state constitution, however, and resigned. In 1779 he was again chosen governor of the state, and granted extraordinary powers, and he at once took the field to repel the British. He joined the army of General Gates in 1782, and the same year was elected to congress. He. was a member of the constitutional convention which framed our present constitution. In 1789 he was appointed an associate justice of the first supreme court of the United States. He resigned to accept the position of chief justice of his own state. Upon the resignation of Judge Jay, he was appointed chief justice of the United States in 1795. The appointment was never confirmed, for, after presiding at one session, his mind became deranged, and he was succeeded by Judge Ellsworth. He died at Charleston, July 23, 1800.

A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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