Gadsden, Christopher

Gadsden, Christopher

(gădz`dən), 1724–1805, American Revolutionary leader, b. Charleston, S.C., educated in England. He returned to Charleston (1746) and became a wealthy merchant. At the Stamp Act Congress (1765) he was one of the first to urge colonial union against England's policy of taxation. Gadsden served (1774–76) in the Continental Congress and favored independence. In the struggle over the South Carolina constitution in 1778 he was a radical, favoring separation of church and state and popular election of senators. He was captured when the British took Charleston (1780), and imprisonment by the British broke his health. He later helped to secure ratification of the Constitution and still later opposed the Jeffersonians.

Bibliography

See R. Walsh, ed., The Writings of Christopher Gadsden, 1746–1805 (1966).

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Gadsden, Christopher

(1724–1805) Revolutionary leader; born in Charleston, S.C. He called for colonial unity in response to the Stamp Act (1765). He became the leader of the radical faction in South Carolina politics, and served as a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses (1774–76).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.