Ralph Izard

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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
Preceded byJohn Langdon
Succeeded byHenry Tazewell
United States Senator
from South Carolina
In office
March 4, 1789 – March 4, 1795
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byJacob Read
Delegate from South Carolina to the Congress of the Confederation
In office
November 4, 1782 – November 1, 1783
Personal details
BornJanuary 23, 1741 / 1742
near Charleston, South Carolina
DiedMay 30, 1804 (aged 62–63)
near Charleston, South Carolina
Political partyPro-Administration
Spouse(s)Alice DeLancey
ChildrenHenry Izard
Ralph Izard
George Izard
Charlotte Izard
Alma materTrinity Hall, Cambridge

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.[2] Izard returned to America in 1764, but did not remain in South Carolina for long.

Marriage and children[edit]

In 1767, Izard married Alice De Lancey, who was a niece of James DeLancey and a descendant of Stephanus Van Cortlandt and Gertrude Schuyler. Izard and his wife had fourteen children together, but only seven survived past early childhood. His most notable children were George Izard and Ralph Izard (naval officer). After Izard moved to America in 1780 to focus on his work towards the American Revolution, his family stayed in France until 1783 when they joined him in South Carolina.[3]


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]

Izard retired from public life to the care of his estates in 1795. Within 2 years of his retirement, he was stricken with an untreatable illness that paralyzed him on one side of his body. On May 30, 1804 near Charleston, Izard died at the age of sixty-two. 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 legacy was carried on by his children and other relatives:


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-12. Retrieved 2008-12-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Izard, Ralph (ISRT761R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ http://articles.westga.edu:2609/servlet/Sabin?dd=0&locID=carr52158&d1=SABCA04589100&srchtp=a&c=1&an=SABCA04589100&df=f&d2=14&docNum=CY3803265979&h2=1&vrsn=1.0&af=RN&d6=14&d3=14&ste=10&stp=Author&d4=0.5&d5=d6&ae=CY103265966

External links[edit]

U.S. 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