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David Rogerson Williams (March 8, 1776 – November 17, 1830) was a Representative in the United States Congress and an antebellum Democratic-Republican Governor of South Carolina from 1814 to 1816.

Contents

Early life and career

Born in Darlington County, Williams was educated at schools in Wrentham, Massachusetts and attended Rhode Island College until he withdrew in 1795. Nonetheless, after studying law he was admitted to the bar in 1797 and he practiced law in Providence, Rhode Island for three years. Williams returned to South Carolina and became an editor of the Republican papers City Gazette and Weekly Carolina Gazette of Charleston. In 1803, Williams moved to Darlington County to engage in cotton planting and various manufacturing enterprises.

Political career

Williams was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1804 from the 3rd congressional district as a Democratic-Republican. In general, Williams was a political maverick who stressed the need for limited government while also having greater accountability to the voters. When Williams first arrived in Washington D.C., he was offered to have dinner with President Thomas Jefferson, but Williams refused because he felt that it might interfere with his independence of mind. To let the voters know how their money was being spent, Williams requested an itemization of appropriation bills rather than a lump sum, but the House voted against an itemization.

As an ardent Nationalist, Williams left the House in 1813 to participate in the War of 1812 and was appointed by President James Madison as a Brigadier General in the U.S. Army. He resigned in 1814 because of personal reasons and was involved in agriculture until his election later that year as Governor of South Carolina for a two-year term by the General Assembly.

Later life and career

After leaving the governorship in 1816, Williams returned to Darlington County to resume his planting and manufacturing operations. He was elected in 1824 to the South Carolina Senate and served until his accidental death while superintending the construction of a bridge over Lynchs Creek on November 17, 1830. Williams was interned on Plumfield Plantation near Society Hill.

References

  • Wallace, David Duncan (1951). South Carolina: A Short History. University of North Carolina Press. pp. 361–362, 366, 368, 370, 379–380, 391–392, 397, 407, 420, 425, 446, 451, 645.  
  • Wolfe, John Harold (1940). Jeffersonian Democracy in South Carolina. University of North Carolina Press. pp. 182, 190, 203–205, 218, 234–235, 249, 251, 264, 265, 280.  

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Benjamin Huger
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 3rd congressional district

1805 – 1809
Succeeded by
Robert Witherspoon
Preceded by
Robert Witherspoon
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 3rd congressional district

1811 – 1813
Succeeded by
Theodore Gourdin
Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Alston
Governor of South Carolina
1814 – 1816
Succeeded by
Andrew Pickens
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