WILLIAM MOULTRIE was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He was made a Captain in the Provincial South Carolina Regiment during the Cherokee War. Serving in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, he was awarded the rank of Brigadier-General for his defense of Sullivan Island. He was commandant at Charleston when it surrendered and was a prisoner on parole until February, 1782. Prior to serving as governor, he was a member of the Provincial Congress of South Carolina from 1775 to 1783, a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1783, and Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina in 1784. His first term as governor occurred post-Declaration of Independence but prior to adoption of the U.S. Constitution and South Carolina’s statehood. He then served briefly as a South Carolina state senator. Four years after South Carolina achieved statehood, he was elected governor once again by the state legislature. During his second gubernatorial administration, the French minister to the United States landed in Charleston and began recruiting men for an expedition to regain Louisiana for France. Although Moultrie was sympathetic with the French cause, the South Carolina legislature disagreed and ordered an investigation of the affair, which effectively stopped French actions in the state. Moultrie left office under terms established by the South Carolina Constitution, which prohibited the reelection of a governor within four years of the expiration of his term. He retired from politics and died ten years later.
*Note: exact month and date of birth are not known.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 1. New York: James T. White & Company.