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Thomas Heyward, Jr.
b.28 Jul 1746 Old House, Granville, South Carolina, United States
d.6 Mar 1802 Old House, Granville, South Carolina, United States
m. 20 Apr 1773
Facts and Events
He was born in St. Luke's Parish, South Carolina and educated at home, then traveled to England to study law where he was a member of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple. He was elected to the Continental Congress in 1775 and signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
Heyward returned to South Carolina in 1778 to serve as a judge. In command of a militia force, he was taken prisoner by the British during the siege of Charleston. He continued to serve as a judge after the war, retiring from the bench in 1798.
Some sources claim that Heyward had a daughter by one of his slaves, who subsequently had a child with a young white man from a wealthy family. The family forced the couple to give up the child for adoption. That child ultimately became Congressman Thomas E. Miller, a light-skinned black man active in civil rights in the post-war South.
Heyward's granddaughter Elizabeth Mathews Heyward married South Carolina governor James Hamilton. Hamilton in turn was the nephew of another South Carolina signer of the Declaration, Thomas Lynch, Jr.