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William Ford De Saussure

William Ford De Saussure (February 22, 1792 – March 13, 1870) was a United States Senator from South Carolina. Born in Charleston, the son of Henry William DeSaussure and Elizabeth Ford De Saussure. He graduated from Harvard University in 1810, studied law, was admitted to the bar and practiced in Charleston and Columbia. He was a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1846 and a judge of the chancery court in 1847.

De Saussure was appointed, and subsequently elected, as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of R. Barnwell Rhett and served from May 10, 1852, to March 3, 1853; he resumed the practice of law in Columbia, and was a trustee of South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina) at Columbia for many years. In December 1860 he was a delegate to South Carolina's Secession Convention and became a signer of the Ordinance of Secession which led directly to the opening hostilities of the Civil War. He died in Columbia in 1870; interment was in the First Presbyterian Churchyard.

Famous family members

The descendants of William Ford De Saussure include Arthur Ravenel, Jr. (1927-), a member of the United States Congress who represented South Carolina from 1987-1995.


United States Senate
Preceded by
Robert B. Rhett
United States Senator (Class 2) from South Carolina
Served alongside: Andrew P. Butler
Succeeded by
Josiah J. Evans


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