Born at Wilson's Ferry (now Pelzer), Anderson County, South Carolina, Wilson attended the common schools. He engaged in agricultural pursuits in Anderson County, near Golden Grove, South Carolina. Also, he operated a public ferry across the Saluda River at what is now known as Pelzer. He served as member of the State house of representatives from 1812 to 1817.
Wilson was elected to the Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Congresses (March 4, 1821 – March 3, 1827). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1826 to the Twentieth Congress. He died at his home near Golden Grove, in Anderson County, South Carolina, August 13, 1828. He was interred in the family cemetery on his plantation, which is now a part of the industrial city of Pelzer, South Carolina.