Rawlin Lowndes (1721 - 1800)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: St. Kitts, British West Indies
Death: Died in Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Managed by: Maria Edmonds-Zediker, Volunteer Curator
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About Rawlin Lowndes

Rawlins Lowndes (January 6, 1721 – August 24, 1800) was an American lawyer and politician, and president/governor of South Carolina. He was born on the island of St. Kitts in the British West Indies in January 1721. He was the son of Charles Lowndes and wife Ruth Rawlins.

At the young age of 21, Lowndes was appointed as the Provost-Marshall of South Carolina. He served in this role for ten years, from 1742 to 1752. Lowndes was first elected to the Royal Assembly, the colonial legislature, in 1749. During his years as a South Carolina political leader, Lowndes was a guiding force in South Carolina’s revolutionary government. He was a member of the First and Second Provincial Congresses, the First and Second General Assemblies, and the First and Second Councils of Safety. In 1776, Lowndes was one of eleven committee members charged with the responsibility of writing a draft constitution for South Carolina.

Despite his involvement in challenging increasingly harsh British measures leading up to the American Revolution, Lowndes opposed armed rebellion and independence from Britain.

On March 7, 1778, the South Carolina General Assembly elected Lowndes President of South Carolina after John Rutledge. During his administration Lowndes approved major changes to the state constitution. His firstact changed the title of South Carolina’s chief executive office from president to governor. Other major changes removed the governor’s power to veto legislation,] created a Senate elected via popular election, and disestablished the Church of England in South Carolina.

After serving as Governor of South Carolina, Lowndes was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1787 and represented the parishes of St. Philip and St. Michael until 1790. As an Assemblyman he strenuously opposed the motion to accept the federal Constitution, to the clause giving power to congress to regulate commerce; and to the centralization of power which would accrue to the federal government.[

During the same period, he was mayor of Charleston, from September 1788 to September 1789.

Lowndes married (1), on August 15,1748, Amarinthia Elliott of Rantoules. She died 14th January 1750. No known children. He married (2) Mary Cartright on December 13, 1751. They had seven children, including two sons who also served as congressmen. He married (3) Sarah Jones in Charleston on February 2, 1773. She died in a road accident in 1801. They had one child.

Lowndes died in Charleston, South Carolina, on August 24, 1800.

Children of Rawlins Lowndes and second wife Mary Cartright:

  • Amarinthia Lowndes, born in Charleston on July 19, 1754. Married Roger Parker Saunders.
  • Mary Lowndes, born August 7, 1755.
  • Rawlins Lowndes, Jr., born in Charleston on November 5, 1757 and died as a child.
  • Sarah Ruth Lowndes, born in 1764 and died in 1852.
  • Harriet Lowndes, baptized April 4, 1766 and died in 1852. Possibly a twin of Thomas, as they had same baptism date. She married Joseph Brown.
  • Thomas Lowndes, born in Charleston on January 22, 1766 and baptized on April 4, 1766. Married Sarah Bond I'on and had eleven children. He was an attorney and Congressman.
  • James Lowndes, born in 1769 and died in 1838. He married Catherine Osborne.

Child of Rawlins Lowndes and third wife Sarah Jones:

  • William Jones Lowndes, born in Colleton, South Carolina on February 11, 1782 and died at sea on December 27, 1822. He married Elizabeth Brewton Pinckney.

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Gov. Rawlin Lowndes's Timeline

1721
January 6, 1721
St. Kitts, British West Indies
1748
August 15, 1748
Age 27
1751
December 23, 1751
Age 30
1754
July 29, 1754
Age 33
Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina
1755
August 7, 1755
Age 34
1757
November 5, 1757
Age 36
Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina
1764
1764
Age 42
1765
1765
Age 43
1766
January 22, 1766
Age 45
Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina
1769
1769
Age 47