The Papers of Henry Laurens


William Henry Drayton (1742-1779)

Drayton, a native South Carolinian, attended Oxford University in the early 1760s. In 1769 he wrote essays attacking the Non-Importation Agreements which appeared in the South-Carolina Gazette. This support for the Administration was not received well, and he was socially and economically ostracized. Later appointed to the South Carolina Royal Council, Drayton would evolved from a supporter of the Crown to a radical revolutionary. He was suspended from the Council in 1775. The Provincial Congress sent him, with William Tennent, and Oliver Hart into the backcountry to explain the Americans' opposition to British actions. Drayton was elected Chief Justice of South Carolina and served in the Provincial Congress, and the General Assembly. He died in Philadelphia in 1779 while serving in the Continental Congress.
Walter B. Edgar and N. Louise Bailey, Biographical Directory of the South Carolina House of Representatives, Volume II: The Commons House of Assembly 1692-1775 (Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1977), pp. 207-210.