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“R” is for Ransier, Alonzo Jacob (1834-1882)

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South Carolina from A to Z: “R” is for Ransier, Alonzo Jacob (1834-1882). Lieutenant governor, congressman.

“R” is for Ransier, Alonzo Jacob (1834-1882). Lieutenant governor, congressman. Ransier was born free in Charleston to parents who may been immigrants from Haiti. He acquired a common school education and worked at a Charleston shipping firm before the Civil War. In 1868 he represented Charleston County in the constitutional convention. He was also a presidential elector in 1868 pledged to Ulysses S. Grant, and he served as a trustee of the State Orphan Asylum. He was Charleston County auditor. In 1868 he became chair of the Republican State Executive Committee. In 1870 Ransier was elected to a two-year term as the state’s first black lieutenant governor. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1872 from the Second District and served one term. Alonzo Jacob Ransier’s political career declined rapidly after Reconstruction ended in 1877.