David Ramsay, an American historian, born in Lancaster co., Pa., April 2, 1749, assassinated in Charleston, S. C., May 8, 1815. In 1773 he settled as a physician in Charleston. He took the field as a surgeon at the outbreak of the revolution, was a member of the South Carolina legislature, and of the privy council or council of safety, and after the capture of Charleston he was included among several inhabitants of that place who were held in close confinement at St. Augustine as hostages. From 1782 to 1786 he was a member of congress from the Charleston district, and for a year was president of that body. He was shot in the street by a lunatic, to whose insanity he had testified. In 1785 he published his "History of the Revolution in South Carolina," and in 1789 his "History of the American Revolution." Both were republished in Europe, and were translated into French. In 1801 he published a "Life of Washington," and in 1809 a "History of South Carolina" (2 vols. 8vo). His "History of the United States," from their settlement as English colonies to the close of 1808, was continued to the treaty of Ghent by the Rev. S. S. Smith and others (3 vols. 8vo). This was included in his "Universal History Americanized" (12 vols. 8vo, 1816-'19), purporting to give a historical view of the world from the earliest records to the 19th century.
Among his minor works was a "History of the Congregational Church in Charleston" (1815).