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о John. Porn
OHN Penn was born in the county of Carolina, Virginia, on the seventeenth of May, 1741. His father, Moses Penn, seemed to be utterly neglectful of the intellectual cultivation of his son; and,
although he possessed the means of giving him a good English education, he allowed him no other opportunity, than that which two or three years'tuition in a common county school in his neighborhood afforded. Mr. Penn died when his son was about eighteen years
and left him the sole possessor of a competent, though not large estate.
It has been justly remarked, that the comparative obscurity in which the youth of Penn was passed, was, under the circumstances, a fortunate thing for him, for he had formed no associates with the gay and thoughtless, which, on his becoming sole master of an estate, would have led him into scenes of vice and dissipation, that might have proved his ruin. His mind, likewise, was possessed of much vigor, and he was naturally inclined to pursue an honorable and virtuous course.
Young Penn was a relative of the celebrated Edmund Pendleton, and resided near him. That gentleman kindly gave him the free use of his extensive library, and this opportunity for acquiring knowledge was industriously improved. He resolved to qualify himself for the profession of the law, and strong in his faith that he should be successful, he entered upon a course of legal study, guided and instructed only by his own judgment and good common sense. He succeeded admirably, and at the age of twenty-one years, he was admitted to the bar,
in his native county. His profession soon developed a native eloquence before inert and unsuspected, and by it, in connection with close application to business, he rapidly soared to eminence. His eloquence was of that sweet persuasive kind, which excites all the tender emotions of the soul, and possesses a controlling power at times irresistible.
In 1774 Mr. Penn moved to North Carolina, and commenced the practice of his profession there. So soon did his eminent abilities and decided patriotism become known there, that in 1775 he was elected a delegate from that state to the Continental Congress, and he took his seat in that body, in October of that year. He remained there three successive years, and faithfully discharged the duties of his high station. Acting in accordance with the instruction of his state convention, and the dictates of his own judgment and feelings, he voted for the Declaration of Independence, and joyfully placed his sign manual to the parchment.
When, in 1780, Cornwallis commenced his victorious march northward from Camden, in South Carolina,* the the western portion of North Carolina, which lay in his path, was almost defenceless. Mr. Penn was a resident of that portion of the State, and the legislature, unable to act efficiently in its collective capacity, conferred upon him almost absolute dictatorial powers, and allowed him to take such measures for the defence of the state, as the
* After the defeat of the Americans under General Gates, at Sanders' Creek, near Camden, Lord Cornwallis left Colonel Ferguson to keep the Americans in South Carolina at bay, and at once proceeded northward with the intention of invading Virginia. He had made arrangements for General Leslie to reinforce him in that State, by landing somewhere upon the shore of the Chesapeake. But while pursuing his march northward, and greatly harassed by bands of patriots, who had been set in motion by the active energies of Penn, he heard of the defeat and death of Colonel Ferguson at King's Mountain, and he hastened back to South Carolina, and thus almost defenceless Virginia was saved from a destructive invasion.
exigency of the case required. This was an extraordinary evidence of great public confidence, but in no particular did he abuse the power thus conferred. He performed his duties with admirable fidelity and skill, and received the thanks of the Legislature, and the general benedictions of the people.
Mr. Penn retired from public life in 1781, and resumed the practice of his profession. But he was again called out in 1784, when Robert Morris, the Treasurer of the Confederation, appointed him a Sub-Treasurer, or receiver of taxes for North Carolina. It was an office of honor and great trust, but unpopular in the extreme. Still he was willing to serve his country
capacity where he could be useful, but he soon found that he would do but little that could in anywise conduce to the public weal, and after holding the office a few weeks, he resigned it, and resumed his private business. He did not again appear in public life, and in September, 1788, he died in the forty-seventh year of his age.
The life of John Penn furnishes another example of the high attainments which may crown him who, though surrounded by adverse circumstances, by persevering industry cultivates mind and heart, and aims at an exalted mark of distinction. If young men would, like him, resolve to rise above the hindrance of adverse circumstances and push boldly on toward some honorable goal, they would seldom fail to reach it, and the race would be found to be far easier than they imagined it to be, when girding for its trial.
Edward Eutledge L
DWARD RUTLEDGE was of Irish descent. His father, Doctor John Rutledge, emigrated from Ireland to America, in 1735, and settled at Charleston, South Carolina. He there commenced practice as a phy
sician, in which he was very successful, and in the course of a few years, he married a young lady by the name of Hert, who brought him, as a marriage dowry, an ample fortune. When she was
twenty-seven years of age, Dr. Rutledge died, and left her with a family of seven children, of whom Edward, the subject of this memoir, was the youngest. He was born at Charleston, in November, 1749.
After receiving a good English and classical education, young Rutledge commenced the study of law with his elder brother, John, who was then a distinguished member of the Charleston bar. As a finishing stroke in his legal education, preparatory to his admission to the bar, he was sent to England at the age of twenty, and entered as a student at the Inner Temple, London, * where, he had an opportunity of witnessing the forensic eloquence of those master spirits of the times, Mansfield, Wedderburn, Thurlow, Dunning, Chatham and Camden. He returned to Charleston about the close of 1772, was admitted to the bar, and commenced practice early in 1773.
Mr. Rutledge, though young, had watched with much interest the political movements of the day, and when old enough to act as well as think, he took a decisive stand on the side of the patriots. This, together with the distinguished talents which he manifested on his first appearance at the bar, drew toward him the attention of the public mind, when the Massachusetts Circular aroused the people to vigorous action. Although then only twenty-five years of age, the convention of South Carolina elected him a delegate to the first General Congress, and he was present at the opening, on the fifth of September, 1774. There he was active and fearless, and receiving the entire approbation of his constituents, he was re-elected in 1775, and 1776: and when, preparatory to
* A number of Inns of Court, or sort of colleges for teaching the law were established in London at various times. The Temple (of which there were three Societies, namely, the Inner, the Middle, and the Outer) was originally founded, and the Temple Church built, by the Knights Templar, in the reign of Henry II, 1185. The Inner and Middle Temple were made Inns of Law in the reign of Ed. ward III., about 1340; the Outer, not until the reign of Elizabeth, about 1560.See Stowe's Surrey.