John Mathews

John Mathews (1744 - 1802)

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John Mathews
Born in Beaufort County South Carolinamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Husband of — married after in South Carolinamap
[children unknown]
Died in Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolinamap
Profile last modified | Created 25 Jul 2014
This page has been accessed 1,123 times.

Categories: South Carolina Notables | Circular Congregational Church Burying Ground, Charleston, South Carolina | American Founding Fathers | Signers of the Articles of Confederation | Special Improvement Projects | South Carolina Governors.

John Mathews is Notable.
John Mathews was a Founding Father in the American Revolution
Preceded by
31st Governor
John Rutledge
John Mathews
33rd Governor
of South Carolina
Seal of the State of  South Carolina
Succeeded by
34th Governor
Benjamin Guerard



Note: Still consolidating information

John Mathews is regarded as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. He was one of the signers of the Articles of Confederation (which were drafted in 1777 and ratified in 1781). Along with the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation is considered one of the three principal foundational documents of the United States of America. John Mathews was a delegate from South Carolina.[1]

John Mathews was born in Charleston, South Carolina[2] in 1744 the son of John Mathews, a planter, and Sarah Gibbes.[3]He was commissioned an ensign and became a Lieutenant in the South Carolina Provincial Regiment in the Cherokee expedition of the early 1760s.[2] He studied law at the Middle Temple, London.[2] [4]He was admitted to the South Carolina bar on 22 September 1766. In the same year he married Mary Wragg, daughter of William Wragg, and soon moved to his 600-acre “Uxbridge” plantation on the Ashley River. There they had their only child, a son.[3] Upon his return, to South Carolina in 1766 to set up a law practice.[5] He was actively involved in state and local politics and served as a Captain in the Colleton County regiment during the Revolutionary War. After serving in the Continental Congress from 1777-1778, Mathews was elected Governor of South Carolina in 1782 and 1783. He was later elected judge of the court of Chancery (1784), the state House of Representatives (1784) and judge of the Court of Equity (1791-1797).[5]

After returning to South Carolina, he was elected to the commons House of Assembly in 1772. He was also a member of the First and Second Provincial Congresses of South Carolina in 1775 and 1776; associate judge of the state circuit court in 1776; a member of the state House of Representatives from 1776 to 1780 (speaker in 1777 and 1778); and a Continental Congress delegate from 1778 to 1781, during which time he endorsed the Articles of Confederation on behalf of South Carolina. [4]He served as a Captain in the Revolutionary War. After returning to South Carolina, he was elected governor, serving a single term. He went on to win election as judge of the Court of Chancery in 1784, as a member of the state House of Representatives in November, 1784, and as judge of the Court of Equity in 1791, a position that he held until 1797.[2]

John Mathews was one of the youngest of the statesmen South Carolina gave to the country during the war of independence. He was born in 1744, was well educated, and became a lawyer of reputation while still a young man. At the commencement of the Revolution he avowed himself an ardent Whig, and applied his abilities to vindicating the rights and liberties of his native land. In 1780, Mr. Mathews was elected to a seat in Congress, in which body he displayed much energy, eloquence, and general legislative ability, adding greatly to his reputation. In 1782 he was chosen to succeed Governor Rutledge in the chief-magistracy of South Carolina as the 33rd Governor. Mr. Mathews held this honorable and responsible post for one year. [4] In 1784 he was appointed a judge in the court of equity, which office he continued to hold until his death in 1802, at the age of fifty-eight years. He was a man of high talent, firm and resolute will, and of extensive information. [6]

He was an American lawyer from Charleston, South Carolina. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1778 to 1781 where he endorsed the Articles of Confederation on behalf of South Carolina. On his return, he was elected the 33rd Governor of South Carolina, serving a single term in 1782 and 1783. [4] John Mathews was a Protestant Christian (as were 98% of the signers of the Articles of Confederation). Additional research is needed about his religious life, as we have not yet identified his denominational affiliation or gathered information about the nature and extent of his religiosity. [1]


1744: Birth
1746: Attended Middle Temple, London; studied law
1760s: Lieutenant in the South Carolina Provincial Regiment in the Cherokee expedition
1764: Passed the Bar
1766: Married Mary Wragg
1766: Captain of the Colleton County Regiment, Revolutionary War
1772: Elected to the commons house of assembly
1774: Appointed by the convention of 1774 a member of the “general committee of ninety-nine”[7]
1777: Speaker of the House of Representatives
1778-1781: Delegate to the Continental Congress; Endorsed Articles of Confederation
1782-1783: 33rd Governor of South Carolina
1783-1797: Judge (Court of Chancery)
1784: US House of Representatives
1791-1797: Judge (Court of Equity), when he resigned[7]
Nov 17, 1802: Death; Charleston, South Carolina[7]
Note: Some sources state he held the title of Judge until his death, other sources state 1797 upon his resignation


Date: 1744
Place: South Carolina
John Matthews
Sarah Gibbes


Spouse: Mary Wragg
Date: 4 Dec 1766[8]


Father: Capt Anthony Mathews (1661-1735 emmigrated from London England to South Carolina
Mother Lois (1679-?)
7 others
John Mathews I (1709-1759)
+ married: Sarah Gibbes (1725 – 1774)
2 others
John Mathews II (1744-1802)
+Married first: Mary Wragg (1745-1799)
1 son
+Married second: Sarah Rutledge (1742-1819)
Benjamin Mathews (1725-1754) SC House
Married: Anne Holmes (1725-1795)
George Mathews (1753-1815)
Married: Mary Saltus (1761-1845)
John Raven Mathews (1788-1867)
Married: Eliza Caroline Jenkins (Whaley) 1788-1860)
4 Daughters
4 others



Date: Oct. 26, 1802
Cemetery: Circular Congregational Church Burying Ground
Place: Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina, USA[9]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Adherents: John Matthews
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 National Governors Association: John Matthews
  3. 3.0 3.1 Oxford Index: John Matthews
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Wikipedia: John Matthews
  5. 5.0 5.1 Constitution Facts: John Matthews
  6. Marshall, James V. The United States Manual of Biography and History. Philadelphia: James B. Smith & Co., 1856. Page 150. (Some spelling corrections have been made.)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2
  8. Hunting For Bears, comp.. South Carolina Marriage Index, 1641-1965 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.
  9. FindAGrave: John Matthews

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John is 26 degrees from Jelena Eckstädt, 13 degrees from Theodore Roosevelt and 14 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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