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“L” is for Legaré, Hugh Swinton (1797-1843)

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“L” is for Legaré, Hugh Swinton (1797-1843). Legislator, U.S., attorney general, writer, intellectual. A native Charlestonian, Legaré graduated from the South Carolina College in 1814. After study abroad in France and Italy, he settled in Charleston, studied law, and served in the S.C. General Assembly. In 1836 he was elected to Congress as a Union Democrat. In 1841 President John Tyler appointed him U.S. attorney general. In 1843 he became U.S. secretary of state ad interim but died three months later. Legaré was co-founder of the Southern Review, which became the model for all subsequent Charleston magazines. The Southern Review exemplified the conservatism of southern professional men, especially in Charleston, beginning with issues such as states’ rights and extending to agrarianism and nullification. Hugh Swinton Legaré, however, remained a staunch Unionist until his death.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.