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Edward Rutledge – youngest signer of the United States Declaration of Independence

Charleston, South Carolina was home to four signers of the Declaration of Independence. As we are celebrating this 4th of July, let us not forget that there were more Revolutionary War battles in the state of South Carolina than any other colony.

Edward Rutledge was the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was 26 years old, just three months younger than Thomas Lynch Jr., another signer of The Declaration of Independence from South Carolina.

Edward Rutledge
Edward Rutledge Signature
Signing of the Declaration of Independence

– Rutledge is standing on the far right in this famous painting of  The Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull.

Edward Rutledge graduated from Oxford University, and at the young age of 24, he was in Charleston practicing law. (His older brother, John Rutledge, was a signer of the United States Constitution.) Edward Rutledge took arms in defense of South Carolina and reached the rank of Captain by the time the war was over. At the conclusion of the Revolutionary War he began his career in public office in South Carolina.  Edward Rutledge held positions within the South Carolina House of Representatives (1783 – 1796,) South Carolina Senate (1796 – 1798) and was the 39th Governor of South Carolina (1798 – 1800.)

He died at the age of 50 years old in 1800.  Edward Rutledge is buried at St. Phillips Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Edward Rutledge Grave
St. Philip's Episcopal Church
Posted on July 2, 2014

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