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BURKE, Aedanus

1743–1802

Biography

BURKE, Aedanus, a Representative from South Carolina; born in Galway, Ireland, June 16, 1743; attended the theological college at St. Omer, France; visited the West Indies; immigrated to the American Colonies and settled in Charles Town (now Charleston), S.C.; served in the militia forces of South Carolina during the Revolutionary War; appointed a judge of the State circuit court in 1778 and served until the enemy overran the State; member of the South Carolina house of representatives 1779-1788; again served in the Revolutionary Army 1780-1782; when the courts were reestablished resumed his seat on the bench, and in 1785 was appointed one of three commissioners to prepare a digest of the State laws; member of the convention in 1788 called to consider ratification of the Constitution of the United States, which he opposed; elected as an Anti-Administration candidate to the First Congress (March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791); declined to be a candidate for reelection in 1790 to the Second Congress, the legislature having passed a law prohibiting a State judge from leaving the State; elected a chancellor of the courts of equity in 1799 and served until his death in Charleston, S.C., March 30, 1802; interment in the cemetery of the Chapel of Ease of St. Bartholomew's Parish, near Jacksonboro, Colleton County, S.C.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Georgia Historical Society

Savannah, GA
Papers: 1781, 1 item. The Aedanus Burke paper consists of a typewritten copy of a letter to an unidentified person, dated October 16, 18, and 19, 1781. It is a vivid description of the final assault on Yorktown, Virginia by French and American forces, and the surrender of the British shortly thereafter. A finding aid is available in the repository.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: In the Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, 1781, 1 letter. Letter of Aedanus Burke, 1781.

The Morgan Library
Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts

New York, NY
Papers: 1783, 1 item. A letter from Aedanus Burke to an unidentified recipient written in October 1783. In the letter, Aedanus Burke names the qualifications for legal practice in the U.S.

University of South Carolina
South Caroliniana Library

Columbia, SC
Papers: In the John C. Meleney Research Files, ca. 1775-1986, 5 linear feet. Research notes of John Meleney containing sources used in his published biography of Aedanus Burke. A finding aid is available in the repository.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Burke, Aedanus. An address to the freemen of the State of South-Carolina. Philadelphia: Printed and sold by Robert Bell, in Third-street, 1783.

------. Considerations on the Society by Order of the Cincinnati. Hartford: Printed and sold by Bavil Websterm, [1783?] Reprint, Hartford: Re-printed by Hudson & Goodwin, 1784.

------. Considerations on the Society or Order of Cincinnati. Philadelphia: Printed and Sold by Robert Bell, in Third-Street. Price, one-sixth of a Dollar, 1783.

Meleney, John C. The Public Life of Aedanus Burke: Revolutionary Republican in Post-Revolutionary South Carolina. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1989.

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