Henry Middleton

Portrait of Henry Middleton

Diplomat, politician
Born: London - 28 September 1770
Died: Charleston, South Carolina - 14 June 1846

Born to a family of prominent Carolina planters (his father's signature was on the Declaration of Independence), Henry Middleton was a moderate Southern Democrat, elected governor of South Carolina in 1810. As an outspoken opponent of the slave trade, although a major slave-owner on his plantations, he impressed President James Monroe and John Quincy Adams. At the recommendation of the latter, when his term as governor ended, he was appointed as the U.S. ambassador to Russia.

A fluent French-speaker who had travelled extensively in Europe, he proved a capable diplomat, persuading Alexander I to rescind Russia's claims to the north-west coast of America, protecting US fishing and trade. He remained in St. Petersburg for ten years, returning to the USA in 1830, where he continued to campaign for the Unionist cause until his death in 1846.

Connected with: John Quincy Adams