"R" is for Rutledge, Edward (1749-1800). Lawyer, governor. Rutledge studied law at the Middle Temple in London. He was admitted to the bar in 1773. One of his first cases involved a successful habeas corpus petition that freed a printer jailed for contempt by the Royal Council. The reputation he gained in this politically charged case led to his election to the Continental Congress in 1774--where in 1776, he became the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence. Returning to Charleston he was a member of the General Assembly and a captain in the Charleston Artillery. With the fall of Charleston he became a prisoner of war, but was exchanged in 1781. After the Revolution, he became one of the state’s most influential political leaders. In 1798 John Rutledge was elected governor of South Carolina.