Colhoun, John Ewing, 1751-1802

Alternative names
Birth 1749
Death 1802-10-26

Biographical notes:

Planter and lawyer of Charleston, S.C., and Pendleton District (now known as Pickens and Anderson Counties), S.C.; member of S.C. Senate, 1801; member of U.S. Senate, 1801-1802; member of S.C. House, 1778-1800; husband of Floride Bonneau Colhoun; father of John Ewing Colhoun, Jr. (1791-1847); father-in-law of John C. Calhoun (1782-1850).

From the description of John Ewing Colhoun papers, 1763-1951. (University of South Carolina). WorldCat record id: 43602727

John Ewing Colhoun was a planter, lawyer, South Carolina legislator, and U.S. Senator.

From the description of John Ewing Colhoun papers, 1774-1961 [manuscript]. (Oceanside Free Library). WorldCat record id: 23150144

Planter and lawyer of Charleston and Pendleton District [now Pickens and Anderson Counties], S.C.; father-in-law of John C. Calhoun.

From the description of John Ewing Colhoun papers, 1763-1951. (University of South Carolina). WorldCat record id: 43478993

This manuscript is a photocopy of a handwritten copy of this journal. Keowee Plantation was the residence of John Ewing Colhoun (1751-1802), father-in-law of John C. Calhoun.

From the description of Keowee Plantation journal, 1853-1859. (bulk 1853-1855). (Clemson University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 19038664

John Ewing Colhoun (1750-1802) was a planter, lawyer, South Carolina legislator, and United States senator. Born in Staunton, Virginia, he attended Princeton College, and graduated in 1774. After studying law and being admitted to the bar in 1783, he set up practice in Charleston, South Carolina, working mostly in estate settlements and personal injury suits. Colhoun later acquired several plantations across the state, including his Santee Plantation in St. Stephen's Parish, his Keowee and 12 Mile Plantations in the Pendleton District, and his Pimlico and Bonneau's Ferry Plantations in St. John's Parish. Another plantation he owned, the location of which is unclear, was called Mount Prospect. Colhoun grew mostly indigo, rice, oats, and vegetables on his plantations, as well as raising cattle, and breeding horses.

From 1778 to 1800 Colhoun served in the South Carolina House of Representatives; in 1801 he served in the state Senate; and from 4 March 1801 until his death on 26 October 1802, he served as a Democrat in the United States Senate.

Colhoun married Floride Bonneau, a member of a prominent South Carolina Huguenot family, and they had at least three children. John Ewing Colhoun, Jr., was a planter in Pendleton, South Carolina, and another son, James Edward Calhoun (he changed the spelling of the surname), served as an officer in the U.S. Navy in the 1820s, and later became a planter as well. He owned the Midway and Millwood Plantations located in the Abbeville District. Their daughter, Floride, married John C. Calhoun (1782-1850) in 1811. (John C. Calhoun's father, Patrick Calhoun, was a cousin of John Ewing Colhoun.) After John Ewing Colhoun's death, his wife Floride seems to have had little to do with managing his properties. She spent her summers in Newport, Rhode Island, staying in South Carolina only during the winter months.

William Moultrie Reid, for whom several letters appear in the collection, lived in Charleston from 1816 to 1820, and served as a member of the Charleston Riflemen in 1819, but nothing beyond that is known about him. Letters written to him address him as William Moultrie Reid, Esq., so he may have been a lawyer.

(Information for this biographical sketch was taken from the Dictionary of American Biography (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929, Volume III, p. 412), the Biographical Dictionary of the American Congress, 1774-1961 (Washington, DC: GPO, 1961, p. 721), and the papers themselves.)

From the guide to the John Ewing Colhoun Papers, 1774-1961, (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.)


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  • Real property
  • Slaves
  • Slavery
  • Overseers
  • Plantations
  • Postmasters
  • Philosophy--Study and teaching--18th century
  • Plantation management
  • Lectures and lecturing--18th century
  • Agriculture
  • Plantations--Accounting
  • Agriculture--Pendleton District
  • Agriculture--Pendleton County--Economic aspects
  • Ethics--Study and teaching--18th century
  • Agriculture--History--19th century
  • Estates (law)
  • Slaves--Family relationships
  • African Americans
  • Lawyers--History--19th century
  • Lawyers
  • Slave records


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  • South Carolina (as recorded)
  • South Carolina--Ninety Six District (as recorded)
  • Pendleton (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • Pimlico Plantation (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • South Carolina--Pendleton County (as recorded)
  • South Carolina (as recorded)
  • St. Stephen's Parish (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • South Carolina (as recorded)
  • Charleston District (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • New Jersey--Princeton (as recorded)
  • Pendleton District (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • Abbeville District (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • Charleston (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • Bonneau's Ferry Plantation (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • Mount Prospect Plantation (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • St. Stephen's Parish (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • Charleston (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • Pendleton County (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • Keowee Plantation (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • Keowee Plantation (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • South Carolina (as recorded)
  • South Carolina--Pendleton (as recorded)
  • Columbia (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • Santee Plantation (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • Ninety Six District (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • Pickens County (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • South Carolina--Pendleton District (as recorded)
  • Midway Plantation Site (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • Millwood Plantation (S.C.) (as recorded)