Thomas Heyward, Jr

In 1746 Thomas Heyward, Jr. was born at the Old House Plantation to one of the wealthiest South Carolina planters. He completed seven years of education in London, and then returned to home in 1771 in order to open a law practice. Between 1772 and 1775 he was sent by his parish to serve on South Carolina’s colonial legislature.

Heyword’s involvement with the Revolutionaries came about during his work on the legislature. In 1774 he was in attendance at a provincial convention which selected delegates to the Continental Congress. From 1775 to 1776 he was busy with work at the first and second provincial congresses and with the drafting of a state constitution. Then, from 1776 until 1778, he attended the Continental Congress. It was during this time that he signed the Articles of Confederation as well as the Declaration of Independence.

When the British took over Charleston in 1880, Heyword, who was helping to defend the city, was taken captive. He remained a prisoner in Florida until July of the following year. In 1782 he took on the position of circuit court judge, and remained at this post until 1789. During this same time he also was a member of the State legislature.

Heyword was the last surviving South Carolina signer when he died at the age of sixty-two in 1809. He grave can be found at Old House Plantation.