Legaré, Hugh Swinton (ləgrēˈ) [key], 1797–1843, American lawyer and public official, b. Charleston, S.C. He was admitted to the bar in 1822, served in the South Carolina legislature (1820–22, 1824–30), and was state attorney general (1830–32). He was a founder, editor (1828–32), and a chief contributor to the Southern Review. From 1832 to 1836 he was chargé d'affaires at Brussels. A strong opponent of nullification, he was elected (1837) to Congress as a Union Democrat. When, on William Henry Harrison's death, John Tyler succeeded as President, Legaré became (1841) Attorney General. He also became (1843) Secretary of State ad interim after Daniel Webster's resignation, but he died two months later.
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