Richard Lushington

Portrait of Richard Lushington
"Richard Lushington" by Dale Watson
TitleMilitia Leader
War & AffiliationRevolutionary War / American
Date of Birth - Death1751-1790

Richard Lushington was born in 1751 in Charleston, South Carolina. His life saw periods of change in his personal views and the politics and society of the south. Raised in the Quaker faith, Lushington became a successful merchant. 

When the Revolutionary War began in 1775, Lushington’s Quaker beliefs could have prevented him from military service, but he decided to take up arms anyway. He became captain of a local militia company that included many Jewish residents of Charleston. Lushington’s Company was known as “The Jews Company” or “The Company of Free Citizens,” and they fought at the Battle of Port Royal Island (February 1779) and during the Siege of Charleston (1780). When the British captured Charleston, Lushington numbered among the few dozen prisoners of war that the British exiled to St. Augustine, Florida. Lushington was exchanged in July 1781 and returned to military service with the rank of lieutenant colonel. 

The next year—1782—he returned home to Charleston and was a popular citizen, due to his military service and leadership. In the following years, Lushington won several elections, serving in posts of city councilman and a representative in the South Carolina General Assembly. As an assemblyman, he voted in favor of the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1788. He may have been influenced by the growing abolition movement toward the end of his life. 

Richard Lushington died in 1790, leaving an interesting life story of forging a path into the society and politics of elite Charleston, South Carolina. He was probably buried in the cemetery of the old Quaker Meeting House in Charleston which was destroyed in 1838 and the cemetery paved over by a modern parking garage.


Related Battles

South Carolina | February 11, 1780
Result: British Victory
Estimated Casualties