John Mathews

3rd Governor of the State of South Carolina 1782 to 1783

Date Born: January, 1744

Date Died: November 17, 1802

Place Born: Charles Town, SC

Place Buried: Charleston, SC

Residence: Charles Town, SC    

Occupation: Lawyer


John Mathews was born in Charles Town, South Carolina in January of 1744.

He was commissioned as an ensign on September 20, 1760, a lieutenant November 16, 1760, and served in the South Carolina Provincial Regiment in the Cherokee expedition. He passed the Middle Temple, London, England, as a barrister in 1764, and returned to South Carolina.

In 1772, John Mathews was elected to represent St. John's, Colleton Parish in the:

- 30th Commons House of Assembly that met in 1772

He was appointed by the convention of 1774 a member of the “general committee of ninety-nine.”

In 1775, John Mathews was elected to represent St. George's, Dorchester Parish as a member of the:
- 1st Provincial Congress that met in 1775
- 2nd Provincial Congresses that met from 1775-1776

In 1776, John Mathews was also an Associate Judge of the Court of General Sessions and Common Pleas.

During the Revolutionary War he served as a Lieutenant in the Colleton County Regiment, then a Captain of the True Blue Company in the Charles Town District Regiment - he led this company of militia at the battles of Charleston Neck, Stono Ferry, the Siege of Savannah in 1779, and the Siege of Charlestown in 1780.

In 1776, John Mathews was first elected to represent St. George's, Dorchester Parish in the House of Representatives of the:
- 1st General Assembly that met in 1776
- 2nd General Assembly that met from 1776-1778 - elected Speaker of the House

John Mathews was elected as a delegate to represent South Carolina in the Continental Congress 1779-1781.

He was also elected to represent St. George's, Dorchester Parish in the House of Representatives in the:
- 3rd General Assembly that met in 1779-1780
- 4th General Assembly that met in 1782

In January of 1782, John Mathews was elected Governor of South Carolina to succeed John Rutledge. During his term as governor near the end of the Revolutionary War, he and the General Assembly began to re-establish all branches of civil government that had laid dormant while the British controlled South Carolina 1780-1782. He watched the British evacuate Charlestown on December 14, 1782.

He was elected Judge of the Court of Chancery in March 1784.

In 1783, John Mathews was elected to represent St. John's, Colleton Parish in the House of Representatives in the:
- 5th General Assembly that met from 1783-1784 - he declined to serve

In 1785, John Mathews was elected to represent St. Philip's & St. Michael's Parish in the House of Representatives in the:
- 6th General Assembly that met in 1785-1786
- 7th General Assembly that met in 1787-1788
- 8th General Assembly that met from 1789-1790

Later, he was elected judge of the Court of Equity in 1791 and served until 1797, when he resigned.

John Mathews died in Charleston, SC on November 17, 1802. [other sources assert he died on October 26, 1802]


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