Cheves, Langdon (1776-1857) Speaker of the House, President of Second Bank of the US: Langdon Cheves was born on September 17,1776, in a fort in Abbeville District, South Carolina. His mother had gone to the fort to escape attack by Cherokee Indians. A self-educated man, Cheves was admitted to the South Carolina bar in 1797. He acquired a reputation as an excellent lawyer and a talented orator. In the early 1800s, Cheves began applying his skills to politics. He served as a member of the state legislature (1802-1809) and as state Attorney-General (1809). In 1811, he was elected to the US House of Representatives, joining the "war hawk" faction. Chosen to be Speaker of the House in 1814-15, he served in Congress until 1815. A year later, he became a justice of the South Carolina Court of Appeals, remaining until 1818. Appointed President of the Second bank of the US in 1819. He saved the Bank from financial collapse by contracting credit and reorganizing operations. Unfortunately, as one critic pointed out, the "bank was saved, and the people were ruined." The contraction of credit and calling in of loans financially destroyed many debtors, especially in the South and West. Cheves' reform of the Bank was one of the major factors leading to the financial Panic of 1819. During the South Carolina nullification crisis of the early 1830s, Cheves took a moderate position. He urged Southerners to hold conventions to discuss the threats to states' rights. At one such convention, held in 1850 in Nashville, Tennessee, he promoted Southern unity. Cheves died in Columbia, South Carolina, on June 26, 1857.