Virginia native Thomas Sumter wound up in debtor's prison following the French and Indian War, escaped and came to South Carolina. He became a landowner and early advocate for American independence and in 1780 became the state's first militia brigadier general. For more than a year he harassed the British, earning the name "Gamecock." He opposed ratification of the United States Constitution, but was still elected to the First Congress. He served in the United States House of Representatives (1789-1793) and the United States Senate (1793-1810), then retired and lived to nearly 100.