Ramsay, David (1749-1815)

South Carolina politician and historian.

Practiced medicine in Charleston. South Carolina assemblyman (1776-90). Member of Congress (1782-83, 1785-86); acting president of Congress (1785-86). Member (1791-99) and president (1791-97) of South Carolina Senate. Active in abolitionist movement and other liberal causes. Best known for his History of the American Revolution (1789), History of South Carolina (1809), and other historical works.

Son of James and Jane (Montgomery) Ramsay of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Educated at Princeton (B.A., 1765) and the College of Philadelphia (M.D., 1772). Married (1) Sabina Ellis (1775). Married (2) Frances Witherspoon (1783); one child. Married (3) Martha Laurens, daughter of Henry Laurens (1787); eleven children.

First letter in correspondence: December 9, 1789; DAB; John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, American National Biography (24 vols., New York, 1999); N. Louise Bailey and Elizabeth Ivey Cooper, Biographical Directory of the South Carolina House of Representatives (4 vols., Columbia, S.C., 1974-84), iii, 590-4.