Izard, Ralph (ĭzˈərd) [key], 1742–1804, American diplomat and legislator, b. near Charleston, S.C. After an education in England, he returned (1764) to South Carolina but in 1771 again went to London. Because of his sympathy with the colonial cause, Izard moved (1776) to Paris. Appointed (1777) commissioner to Tuscany by the Continental Congress, he was not received by that government, but he felt that, as an American diplomat, he should take part in American negotiations with France and thus won the enmity of Benjamin Franklin. Izard's connection with the De Lanceys, New York Loyalists, led to accusations that he was a Tory; however, his sincere devotion to the patriot cause was demonstrated, and after his return (1779) to America he served (1782–84) in the Continental Congress. A Federalist, he strongly supported the Constitution and was (1789–95) Senator from South Carolina.
See his Correspondence, 1774–1804 (1844).
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