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"M” is for Mathews, John (1744-1802)

South Carolina A to Z larger logo

“M” is for Mathews, John (1744-1802). Governor. Matthews was born in Charleston. He studied law at the Middle Temple in London and was admitted to the bar in 1766. He was elected to the First and Second Provincial Congresses and was the first Speaker of the S.C. House of Representatives under the 1778 Constitution. Matthews was elected to the Continental Congress three times. As chair of the Committee on Headquarters he worked closely with General Washington to supply and organize the army. In 1781 he was back in South Carolina and attended the legislative session in Jacksonborough—where he was elected governor. He started the work of reconstructing South Carolina with a census of the state, necessary for future taxation. On December 14, 1782, Governor John Mathews presided over the reoccupation of Charleston by American forces.

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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.