1805; Chapel, Department of Religious Studies, Residence Hall
When South Carolina College first opened its doors January 10, 1805, the
building now called Rutledge was the college. The only building on the campus
at the time, it served as dormitory, lecture hall, chapel, library, faculty
housing, and laboratories.
The building was designed to accommodate about 50 students and several
faculty. The wings served as residential areas while the center portion
served as chapel and academic facilities.
The first structure was originally called South Building, because already in
the planning stages was its mirror image, a facility to be built about 300
hundred feet to the north and called, logically enough, North Building.
Destroyed by fire in 1855, Rutledge was rebuilt almost immediately and it was
probably at that time that it received its painted stucco facade.
After the Civil War, the east wing of Rutledge was used as quarters by the
federal military commander of the Columbia district. At this same time, the
Columbia post office and the office of the state treasurer were in the west
wing, and the House of Representatives met in the chapel.
The pipe organ in Rutledge Chapel was built and installed in 1969. This
instrument consists of 16 ranks of pipes and was designed especially for its
placement in the balconies of Rutledge Chapel. In addition to being used for
chapel services, the organ is used by the School of Music for teaching,
recitals, and practice.
The building is named in honor of John Rutledge, a South Carolina statesman
of the eighteenth century who was an early advocate of higher education for
the people of his era; and his brother, Edward, a signer of the Declaration
John Rutledge (1739-1800), a Charleston lawyer, was elected governor of South
Carolina in 1779 and was elected to Congress in 1782. The next year he began
his judicial career with his election to the chancery court of the state. He
later served in the state House of Representatives and was one of four South
Carolinians elected to the Federal Convention of 1787, where he became an
Edward Rutledge (1749-1800), also served as governor of South Carolina.
Rutledge had been educated at Oxford and admitted to the English bar to
practice law but soon returned to Charleston.
He was elected to the First Continental Congress in 1774 and was the leader
of the South Carolina delegation to the Second Continental Congress. While
fighting in the Revolution, he was captured at the fall of Charleston.
Rutledge was elected governor in 1798, after serving in both the house and