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Andrew Gordon Magrath

Andrew Gordon Magrath (February 8, 1813 – April 9, 1893) was the last Confederate Governor of South Carolina from 1864 to 1865.


Early life and career

Born in Charleston, Magrath graduated from South Carolina College in 1831 and afterwards attended Harvard Law School for legal training. It was in Charleston under the guidance of James L. Petigru that Magrath gained knowledge of the law and who also influenced his early political beliefs. Magrath was admitted to the South Carolina bar in 1835 and was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1838 at the age of 25. He served until 1841 and was known as unionist or cooperationist.

President Franklin Pierce appointed Magrath as a district court judge in 1856. It was there that he asserted Southern supremacy by striking down a piracy statute on the slave trade. Magrath resigned his judgeship when Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860 to the presidency. He was involved with the state's secession convention and became the Secretary of State for South Carolina in 1860.

Civil War

In 1862, Magrath was appointed by Jefferson Davis as a Confederate district judge and on the bench he was noted for his opposition to the centralization of power by the Confederate government in Richmond. The South Carolina General Assembly appointed Magrath in December 1864 to be the Governor of South Carolina. He served for less than a year as governor and he was critical of continuing the struggle in the face of overwhelming Union forces. The Union Army arrested him on May 25, 1865 and sent him to Fort Pulaski for imprisonment.

Later life

Magrath was released in December and he resumed the practice of law in Charleston. On April 9, 1893, Magrath died in Charleston and was buried at Magnolia Cemetery.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Milledge Luke Bonham
Governor of South Carolina
1864 – 1865
Succeeded by
Benjamin Franklin Perry


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