Ramsay, David, 1749-1815

Alternative names
Birth 1749-04-02
Death 1815-05-08

Biographical notes:

David Ramsay was born April 2, 1749 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania where he was a friend and student of the physician Benjamin Rush. After practicing medicine in Maryland for one year, he moved to Charleston, South Carolina, where he immersed himself in local politics and society. He served as a member of the Charleston Council of Safety, member of the South Carolina legislature and Privy Council, Continental Congress, and United States Congress. Ramsay was an early member of the newly formed Medical Society of South Carolina and was elected president in 1798. He was an early advocate for the creation of a Medical College of South Carolina in Charleston. He authored numerous works on medicine and history, including A dissertation on the means of preserving health in Charleston and the Lowcountry (1796) and The history of the revolution of South-Carolina, from a British province to an independent state (1785). On May 8, 1815 he was shot dead on Broad Street in Charleston by an unstable patient whose insanity he had certified previously.

From the description of David Ramsay Letters. 1777-1813. (Medical University of South Carolina Library). WorldCat record id: 182855615

American physician, historian and member of the Continental Congress.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Charleston, to the Reverend Benjamin Trumbull, 1792 Mar. 7. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270616164

From the description of Autograph letter signed : "In Senate," to John Hart, the Sheriff of Charleston, 1796 Dec. 16. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270616159

Physician and politician of Charleston, South Carolina.

From the description of Document, undated, [post 1815 : Charleston, South Carolina]. (Duke University). WorldCat record id: 35283392

Physician, historian, South Carolina state legislator, and U.S. Continental Congressman.

From the description of David Ramsay trust estate account, 1813. (The South Carolina Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 36865485

Charleston, South Carolina physician and historian. David Ramsay was a South Carolina Representative, South Carolina Senator, and a United States Continental Congressman.

From the description of A Dissertation on the manner of acquiring the character & privileges of a citizen of the United States, 1802. (The South Carolina Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 32141223

Physician Joseph Carson taught medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The College of Philadelphia's Medical School, founded in 1765, became known as the University of Pennsylvania, Dept. of Medicine In 1779.

From the guide to the Joseph Carson letters, 1789-1858, 1789-1858, (American Philosophical Society)


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Ark ID:


  • Medical education--United States
  • Fires
  • Creditors' bills
  • Physicians
  • Debtor and creditor
  • Municipal water supply
  • Receipts (financial records)
  • Medicine
  • Obligations (Law)
  • Citizenship


  • Scientists


  • Charleston (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Massachusetts--Charlestown (as recorded)
  • South Carolina (as recorded)
  • Broughton Island (Ga.) (as recorded)
  • South Carolina (as recorded)
  • South Carolina--Charleston (as recorded)