- Lester D. Stephens
Ravenel, Edmund (08 December 1797–27 July 1871), physician and naturalist, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of Daniel Ravenel, a planter, and Catherine Prioleau. The sixth of nine children born to enterprising Huguenot parents, Ravenel received a sizable inheritance upon the death of his father in 1807. Little is known of his education before he entered the medical school of the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated first in his class in 1819. Soon thereafter Ravenel settled in Charleston to practice medicine. By 1823 he had also established a summer residence and a practice on nearby Sullivan’s Island, where he began to study fishes and to collect mollusk shells. In 1823 he married Charlotte Matilda Ford, who died in 1826, two days after the birth of a daughter. Three years later, Ravenel married Charlotte’s half sister Louisa Catherine Ford, with whom he had seven children....