Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MATHEWS, John, jurist, born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1774; died there, 17 November, 1802. He was an active promoter of the Revolution, was the first speaker of the state house of representatives after the dissolution of the royal government in 1776, and the same year became an associate of the supreme court of South Carolina. He served in the Continental congress in 1778-'82, opposed the project of purchasing peace with Great Britain by the sacrifice of the Carolinas and Georgia, and was a member of the committee to confer with the enemy on that subject. He succeeded Edward Rutledge as governor of South Carolina in 1782, and, with General Nathanael Greene and General Anthony Wayne, followed the retreat of the British to their shipping. On the establishment of the court of equity in 1784, he was chosen chancellor with John Ruttedge and Richard Hudson, serving until his resignation in 1797. His election to that office is described by a contemporary writer as "a just tribute to exalted worth and disinterested services."
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