James Mathewes Legare (1823-59) wrote poetry and fiction, as well as being a painter and an inventor. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina, where he initially studied law. In 1846, his ailing father was forced to move the family to Aiken, which then was a kind of convalescent town. Legare wrote poetry and fiction in Aiken, along with doing some teaching, and he married in 1850. His poetry collection Orta-Undis, and other poems (Boston : W.D. Ticknor & Co.) was published under the name J. M. Legaré (the middle name recorded as Matthews on the Library of Congress site). He died of tuberculosis at the age of 35, and his novel Cap-and-Bells was published posthumously in Harper's Magazine (1863-64).
His house is at 421 Laurens St SW.
Legare built an extension to the house to facilitate his writing.
Legare is buried in St Thaddeus's Church, Aiken.