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Thomas Bee (1739, Charleston, South Carolina – February 18, 1812, Pendleton, South Carolina) was an American planter, lawyer, politician and jurist from Charleston, South Carolina. He served as the sixth Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina (1779–1780) and was a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1780 to 1782. He later served as a judge in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina from 1790 until his death.
Early life and education
Thomas Bee was born to a wealthy Charleston planter family in the colony of South Carolina. He was taught by a tutor at home, before being sent to England to attend Oxford University. He read law in 1761 for admission to the bar.
Marriage and family
He married Susannah Bulline Bee (1754 - 1805) in Charleston, and they had several children. Their son Barnard E. Bee, Sr., and great-grandson Carlos Bee followed him into politics. Carlos Bee was elected as a U.S. Representative. Thomas Bee, along with his wife and 16 year old daughter, Jane Templar Bee Huger (1790 - 1820)are buried off what is now Palmetto Commerace Parkway in Ladson, SC. Property that was inherited from his wife’s father.
Bee set up a law practice in Charleston, but was often called away from it in the name of public service.
He was elected to the colonial South Carolina House of Representatives, serving from 1762 to 1765. After the American Revolutionary War, he was re-elected, serving from 1772 to 1779, 1781 to 1782, and 1786 to 1788. He rose to the level of Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives in January and February 1779. He was appointed as Lieutenant Governor of the state. From 1788 to 1790, he was in the South Carolina Senate.
On June 11, 1790, he was nominated by President George Washington to a seat vacated by William Drayton on the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina. Three days later, Bee was confirmed by the United States Senate and received his commission. He served in that office until his death.
- Thomas Bee at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
William Drayton, Sr.
|Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina
June 14, 1790 – February 18, 1812
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