Colonial Unrest, American Revolution, and New Republic (1765-1789)

Bull, William, II

During the 1770s Bull’s political views grew increasingly out of step as South Carolina and other colonies moved toward radical opposition to the crown. Lord William Campbell, the last royal governor, arrived at Charleston on June 18, 1775, and took office, but his term lasted only three months. On September 15 he was forced to flee the city for refuge on a British warship in Charleston harbor. The revolution was under way, and Bull’s position was an impossible one. He resigned from the Royal Council and retired to his Ashley Hall plantation. In 1777 he refused to take the oath of allegiance to the revolutionary government and was banished from the state.

Burke, Aedanus

Burke was elected as an anti-Federalist to the First Congress of the United States, commencing service in New York on March 4, 1789. He served on thirty-three committees and was instrumental in crafting bills that led to the judiciary act and the creation of the Library of Congress, the postal system, and the patent system. His congressional service was marked by an incident with Alexander Hamilton, whom Burke felt had slighted southern soldiers when Hamilton eulogized General Nathanael Greene.

Butler, Pierce

Although Butler served in the General Assembly from 1776 to 1789, his most significant political accomplishments came at the national level. In 1787 the legislature elected Butler to both the Confederation Congress and the constitutional convention scheduled to meet later that spring in Philadelphia. In the constitutional debates, Butler generally supported proposals for a strong central government, a single executive, and wealth rather than population as the basis of representation. He also championed South Carolina interests, especially slavery, and vigorously opposed the three-fifths compromise, arguing that slaves represented property wealth and should be counted fully for purposes of representation.

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