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“H” is for Hamilton, Paul (1762-1816)

South Carolina A to Z larger logo

“H” is for Hamilton, Paul (1762-1816). Governor, secretary of the navy. Born in St. Paul’s Parish, at the age of sixteen Hamilton joined a militia company serving under Francis Marion and William Harden. He represented St. Paul’s in the General Assembly and as a delegate to the South Carolina Ratification Convention. Hamilton then represented St. Bartholomew’s for three terms in the South Carolina senate where he became a Democratic-Republican in contrast to most lowcountry politicians-- and was a presidential elector for Thomas Jefferson in 1800. In 1804, while serving as state comptroller of finance, the General Assembly elected Hamilton governor. During his term he advocated improving the state militia and coastal defenses. He unsuccessfully called for closing the Atlantic slave trade. In 1809, President James Madison appointed Paul Hamilton as secretary of the navy.

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.