Pierce Butler ~ was a man of startling contrasts. As late as 1772 he was a ranking officer in those British units charged with suppressing the growing colonial resistance to Parliament. In fact, a detachment from his unit, the 29th Regiment of Foot, had fired the shots in the "Boston Massacre" of 1770, thereby dramatically intensifying the confrontation between the colonies and England. But by 1779 Butler, now an officer in South Carolina's militia and a man with a price on his head, was organizing American forces to fight the invading Redcoats. Butler lost his considerable estates and fortune during the British occupation of South Carolina, but at the end of the Revolutionary War he was among the first to call for reconciliation with the Loyalists and a renewal of friendly relations with the former enemy.
Although an aristocrat to the manor born, Butler became a leading spokesman for the frontiersmen and impoverished western settlers. Finally, this
Patriot, always a forceful and eloquent advocate of the rights of the common man during the debate over the Constitution, was also the proud owner of
a sizable number of slaves.
As a planter and merchant, especially after his trip to Europe, he came to understand that economic growth and international respect depended upon a
strong central government. At the same time, he energetically supported the special interests of his region.
This dual emphasis on national and state concerns puzzled his fellow delegates, just as other apparent inconsistencies would bother associates
throughout the rest of his political career. For example, Butler favored ratification of the Constitution, yet absented himself from the South
Carolina convention that approved it. Later, he would serve three separate terms in the United States Senate, but this service was marked by several
abrupt changes in party allegiance. Beginning as a Federalist, he switched to the Jeffersonian party in 1795, only to become a political independent
in 1804. These changes confused the voters of his state, who rejected his subsequent bids for high public offices, although they did elect him three
more times to the state legislature as an easterner who spoke on behalf of the west. www.history.army.mil...
William Few ~ In 1771 Few, his father, and a brother associated themselves with the "Regulators," a group of frontiersmen who opposed
the royal governor. As a result, the brother was hanged, the Few family farm was destroyed, and the father was forced to move once again, this time to
Georgia. William remained behind, helping to settle his father's affairs, until 1776 when he joined his family near Wrightsboro, Ga. About this time,
he won admittance to the bar, based on earlier informal study, and set up practice in Augusta.
Few missed large segments of the convention proceedings, being absent during all of July and part of August because of congressional service, and
never made a speech. Nonetheless, he contributed nationalist votes at critical times. Furthermore, as a delegate to the last sessions of the
Continental Congress, he helped steer the Constitution past its first obstacle, approval by Congress. And he attended the state ratifying
He served 4 years in the legislature (1802-5) and then as inspector of prisons (1802-10), alderman (1813-14), and U.S. commissioner of loans (1804).
From 1804 to 1814 he held a directorship at the Manhattan Bank and later the presidency of City Bank. A devout Methodist, he also donated generously
to philanthropic causes. www.let.rug.nl...