© 2024 South Carolina Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

“G” is for Gillon, Alexander (1741-1794)

“G” is for Gillon, Alexander (1741-1794). Congressman, merchant, naval officer, legislator. A native of Holland, Gillon settled in Charleston in 1766, prospering in commercial venture, operating a store and merchant vessels. He was so successful that by 1777 that he retired from trade. He owned a house on East Bay Street, a dock, fifteen lots in Charleston, and thousands of acres on the Congaree River. Early in the Revolution, Gillon attached himself to the patriot cause. In 1778 he accepted command of the South Carolina navy. In 1780 he leased the frigate South Carolina from a French nobleman and set sail from Amsterdam. The ill-fated voyage ruined him financially and the ship was captured by the British. The resulting claims against the state out of Alexander Gillon’s brief command of the South Carolina were not settled until 1856.

Stay Connected
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.