Ralph Izard

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This article is about the U.S. Congressman. For his son, who distinguished himself at the burning of the Philadelphia at Tripoli, see Ralph Izard (navy officer).
Ralph Izard
Ralph Izard2.jpg
Ralph Izard 1793, by John Trumbull, American, 1756–1843
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
May 31, 1794 – November 9, 1794
President George Washington
Preceded by John Langdon
Succeeded by Henry Tazewell
United States Senator
from South Carolina
In office
March 4, 1789 – March 4, 1795
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Jacob Read
Delegate from South Carolina to the Congress of the Confederation
In office
November 4, 1782 – November 1, 1783
Personal details
Born January 23, 1741 / 1742
near Charleston, South Carolina
Died May 30, 1804 (aged 62–63)
near Charleston, South Carolina
Political party Pro-Administration
Spouse(s) Alice DeLancey
Children Ralph Izard
George Izard
Alma mater Trinity Hall, Cambridge
Profession Planter

Ralph Izard (January 23, 1741/1742 – May 30, 1804) was a U.S. politician. He served as President pro tempore of the United States Senate in 1794.

Early life[edit]

Izard was born at "The Elms" near Charleston, South Carolina. He was the son of Henry Izard and Margaret Johnson. His great-grandfather was Ralph Izard [1] (1660–1710), who was born in Dorchester, England and settled in South Carolina. His maternal grandfather was Province of South Carolina Governor Robert Johnson. Izard's parents died when he was a small child, and only one of his siblings survived to adulthood. He spent most of his childhood and youth studying in England: he attended a school in Hackney, London, and matriculated as a fellow-commoner at Trinity Hall, Cambridge.[1] Izard returned to America in 1764, but did not remain in South Carolina for long. In 1767, he married Alice DeLancey of New York, a niece of James DeLancey and a descendant of Stephanus Van Cortlandt and Gertrude Schuyler. They had 13 children between 1768 and 1792.


He resided in London in 1771 and moved to Paris, France, in 1776. He was appointed commissioner to the Court of Tuscany by the Continental Congress in 1776, but was recalled in 1779. He returned to America in 1780 and pledged his large estate in South Carolina for the payment of war ships to be used in the American Revolutionary War. He was a member of the Continental Congress in 1782 and 1783. In 1788, he was elected to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1789, to March 4, 1795, serving as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Third Congress.

Death and legacy[edit]

Ralph and Alice Izard by John Singleton Copley

Izard retired from public life to the care of his estates and died near Charleston. He is interred in the churchyard of St. James Goose Creek Episcopal Church, near Charleston.

Izard was one of the founders of the College of Charleston. His children and relations married well:


  1. ^ "Izard, Ralph (ISRT761R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 

External links[edit]

United States Senate
Preceded by
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from South Carolina
Served alongside: Pierce Butler
Succeeded by
Jacob Read
Political offices
Preceded by
John Langdon
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
May 31, 1794 – November 9, 1794
Succeeded by
Henry Tazewell