|Date Born: January 6, 1721||
Date Died: August 24, 1800
|Place Born: St. Kitts, West Indies||
Place Buried: Charleston, SC
|Residence: Charles Town, SC||
Rawlins Lowndes was an American lawyer and jurist from South Carolina. He served for a brief time during the Revolutionary War as President, and then Governor, of South Carolina. His sons, Thomas and William Lowndes, both served in the U.S. Congress.
Lowndes was born on the island of St. Kitts in the British West Indies on January 6, 1721. He married Amarinthia Elliott of Rantowles on August 15, 1748. The married a second time, to Mary Cartwright of Charles Town, on December 23, 1751. He started his law practice in Charles Town around 1752. He married a third time, to Sarah Jones of Georgia, about 1780.
At the young age of 21, Lowndes was appointed as the Provost Marshall of South Carolina. He served in this role for ten years, from 1742 to 1752.
In 1749, Rawlins Lowndes was elected to represent St. Paul's
Parish after William Elliott declined to serve in the:
In 1751, Rawlins Lowndes was first elected to represent St.
Bartholomew's Parish in the:
He was elected Speaker of the House on September 2, 1763, after Benjamin Smith resigned due to poor health. He was again elected Speaker of the House on October 28, 1772, after Peter Manigault resigned due to poor health. He was then elected Speaker of the House for the 32nd Commons House of Assembly that met in 1773, and the 33rd Commons House of Assembly that met from 1773 to 1775 - the last one to assemble under Royal rule.
In early 1766, he was appointed by the Crown as an Associate Judge, and he delivered the majority opinion of the court in favor of the legality of public proceedings without the use of "stamped paper" and refused to enforce its use in his court.
During his years as a South Carolina political leader, Lowndes
acted as a guiding force in South Carolinas revolutionary
government. He served as a member of the:
In 1776, Rawlins Lowndes was first elected to represent St.
Bartholomew's Parish in the House of Representatives in the:
He also served on the First and Second Councils of Safety. In 1776, Lowndes served as one of eleven committee members charged with the responsibility of writing a draft Constitution for South Carolina.
Despite his involvement in challenging increasingly harsh British measures leading up to the American Revolution, Lowndes opposed armed rebellion and independence from Britain.
The South Carolina General Assembly elected Lowndes to serve as the chief executive of South Carolina on March 7, 1778. Lowndes, as President of South Carolina, approved major changes to the state constitution on March 19, 1778. The first change was minor, changing the title of South Carolinas chief executive office from president to governor. The three major changes removed the governors power to veto legislation, created a Senate elected via popular election, and disestablished the Church of England (Anglican) in South Carolina. When British forces threatened South Carolina in 1779, Lowndes led a meager 10,000 troops to save Charles Town.
After serving as Governor of South Carolina, Lowndes was elected
into the South Carolina Senate in the:
In 1787, Rawlins Lowndes was elected to represent St. Philip's
& St. Michael's Parish in the SC House of Representatives
Rawlins Lowndes strenuously objected to the original U.S. Constitution, objecting primarily to the restrictions on slavery, to the clause giving the U.S. Congress power to regulate commerce, and to the centralization of power in the Federal government. He contended that these provisions were give a dangerous surperiority to the northern states and would prove fatal to the liberties of the states by reducing them to mere corporations.
He died at his home in Charleston, South Carolina on August 24, 1800.
|<< Last Governor - John Rutledge|