Ralph Izard Journeys To Tuscany

Ralph Izard Journeys To Tuscany

Ralph Izard spent the first half of the American Revolution working on behalf of his country in foreign lands.

Upon his return, Izard rose quickly on the political scene, becoming one of the original Senators from South Carolina and making his way as President pro tempore.

Ralph Izard

Like many colonists with wealthy parents, Ralph Izard went to London as a young man to receive his education.  What separates him from his contemporaries is he stayed there a very long time.

Actually, Izzard’s parents passed away when he was young, and he received his early education in England as well as his university studies.

Apparently, you could take the Izard out of South Carolina, but you could not take the South Carolina out of the Izard.  When the American Revolution broke out, Izard sided with the colonists.  This despite spending the better part of 30 years in England.

Ambassador

The Continental Congress, recognizing his potential, selected Izard as the Ambassador to Tuscany.

At this point in history, Italy was not one unified nation as we know it now.  Instead, it was essentially a group of nation states, with Tuscany being one of the most powerful.

Izard worked to secure a loan from Tuscany as well as toward treaties with the countries of North Africa (then known as the Barbary States).

Troubles In Paris

Izard also worked closely with the Ministers in Paris, most notably Benjamin Franklin and John Adams.  

He also associated closely with Arthur and William Lee (brothers of Richard Henry and Francis Lightfoot Lee).  Izard took the Lee’s side in their arguments regarding a treaty with France against Franklin and Silas Deane.

Because of this, Izard would be recalled by the Continental Congress in 1780, finally returning to his home of South Carolina.  The argument embarrassed members of both sides and was soon after forgotten.

Senate

Soon after arriving in the United States, Izard was chosen to represent South Carolina in the Continental Congress.  He was part of the Congress during the process of officially ending the Revolutionary War (though he came in after the Victory at Yorktown).

In 1789, Ralph Izard became one of the two people elected from South Carolina to be a part of the First United States Senate.

He served for the next six years.  During his time in this office, Izard spent six months as President pro tempore of the United States Senate.  In this position, he was the number two person in charge of the legislative branch, only below Vice-President John Adams.

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If you do want to buy something, may I recommend 'Unwanted Allies' by Joel Richard Paul.  This story actually follows Silas Deane, but Izard pops up from time to time.  This books is a story so unbelievable I can't even describe it.  It has everything: spies, revolutionaries, Founders, cross dressers...everything.  Pick up a copy through our affiliate Amazon and you can support this site at no additional cost for the book.  Thanks!

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