Christopher Gadsden (1724-1805) was a sailor, soldier, statesman, patriot, delegate to the Continental Congress and designer of the famous Gadsden flag.
Christopher Gadsen, was born 16 February, 1724, in Charleston, South Carolina, to Thomas and Elizabeth Gadsden. Elizabeth died when Christopher was young and Christopher had two stepmothers. Thomas was the customs collector in Charleston, and he became a large land owner. When he died in 1741, he left Christopher a considerable estate.
The family lived on a plantation outside Charleston. Christopher was sent to school in England when he was seven, where he lived with relatives and received a good education. Christopher returned in 1740, at age 16, and went to Philadelphia to begin a business apprenticeship. He received his business training under Thomas Lawrence, who had commercial interests, but was also the mayor of Philadelphia.
At the age of twenty-one, Christopher left training and was planning on going into business for himself. First he took a trip to England, and happenstance started him down a different road. In 1745, Christopher traveled on the British man-of-war Aldborough. The ship was headed to defend the colonies during King George's War. The purser died and the captain appointed Christopher in his place.
On Monday, 28 July 1746, Christopher Gadsden married Miss Jane Godfrey, at St. Philip's Church. Jenny was the daughter of Samuel Godfrey a wealthy merchant. She died May 1755.
Two weeks later Christopher sailed for Cape Breton on the Aldborough. He left the navy in 1748, after seeing a fair amount of action and encountering the dangers of war and the ocean. He became a merchant, was part of the local militia, eventually sold his merchant interests, with the thought to becoming a planter. He acquired land, some of which he sold later at a tidy profit. Instead of becoming a planter eventually he developed 44 acres which became Gadsdenboro and the wharf adjoining it.
Shortly after the death of his first wife, Christopher married Miss Mary Hasell, (born about 1734) daughter of Reverend Thomas Hasell. They had four children. She died after 14 years of marriage, 17 Jan 1769.
By 1757, Christopher was the member of several local charitable civic groups. He was well to do and a solid citizen. He was elected to the Commons House of Assembly, beginning another successful career as statesman and politician.
He was a delegate to the first Colonial congress, the Stamp Act Congress, which met in New York in October, 1765. Returning home, he was a founding member of the Sons of Liberty of South Carolina. He was a member of the first Continental congress, Sept 1774, which met in Philadelphia.
14 April 1776, at St. Philip's Church, Christopher married for the third time to Ann Wragg. She was a spinster of 45 years, but from one of the wealthiest and most prominent families in South Carolina.
Christopher took the rank of colonel, when the Revolution began, was actively engaged in the defense of Charleston in 1776, and was promoted to the rank of brigadier-general. He was a framer of the state constitution in 1778. When Charleston was taken by the British in 1780, Christopher, as lieutenant governor of South Carolina, signed the capitulation. He was arrested later, removed to Fort Augustine, Florida, where he remained forty-two weeks. He was exchanged in 1781. In 1782, he was elected governor of South Carolina, but because of his age and declined health, he turned down the office.
Gadsden wrote his final draft of his will 5 June 1804. He was worth more than a quarter of a million dollars.
Christopher Gadsden died 28 August 1805, from injuries sustained in a series of falls.
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Christopher is 31 degrees from Jelena Eckstädt, 22 degrees from Theodore Roosevelt and 24 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.