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John Mathews - One of America's Founding Fathers

Posted on Thursday, December 24, 2020

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Birth: 1744
Death: November 17, 1802 (age 57 or 58)
Colony: South Carolina
Occupation: Plantation Owner, Lawyer, Politician
Significance: Signed The Articles of Confederation (at the age of 33 or 34); served in the Continental Congress (1777-1781); served as the Governor of South Carolina (1782-1783)

John Mathews

John Mathews was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Mathews traveled to London for his education and studied law at Middle Temple. Upon his return to South Carolina, Mathews began practicing law and became in South Carolina politics. In 1772, Mathews was appointed to the Colonial Assembly, and in 1775-1776, Matthews served as a member of the South Carolina Provincial Congress.

As the Revolutionary War began, Mathews was appointed a judge South Carolina State Court in 1776, and then later that same year, Mathews was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives where Mathews was elected Speaker of the House. During this time, Mathews also served as Captain in the Revolutionary War. In 1777, Mathews was elected to serve in the Second Continental Congress. While in the Continental Congress, Mathews was among the first first to sign the Articles of Confederation on July 9, 1778 after the Articles were ratified by his Colony of South Carolina. 

Mathews served in the Continental Congress until 1781, when Mathews returned to South Carolina and ran for Governor. Mathews was elected and served one term as Governor of South Carolina from 1782-1783. After his time as Governor, Mathews served as a judge on the South Carolina Court of Equity. Mathews died in 1802 in his hometown of Charleston.

John Mathews in Philadelphia

John Mathews traveled to Philadelphia in 1778 to serve as a member of the Second Continental Congress. While in the Continental Congress, Mathews worked at Independence Hall, where he signed The Articles of Confederation. 

Today, Independence Hall is one of the stops visited along The Constitutional Walking Tour!

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