© 2022 South Carolina Public Radio
Radio Website Header-Waves 6 3.0.jpg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

"S" is for Smith, William (ca. 1762-1840)

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio
/

"S" is for Smith, William (ca. 1762-1840). U.S. Senator. After attending Mount Zion College in Winnsboro, Smith opened a law practice in York District. He was also a successful planter acquiring land holdings across the state and in Alabama and Louisiana. He was a Jeffersonian of the purist stripe, espousing strict-constructionist and states’ rights principles. He represented York in the South Carolina House and Senate. In 1816 he was elected to the U.S. Senate. During a Senate speech over Missouri’s admission to the Union, Smith became one of the first to defend slavery as a positive good. He and Calhoun fought for control of South Carolina’s states’ rights movement. After being defeated for re-election, he tired of state politics. In 1831, William Smith left South Carolina and moved to his lands in Madison County, Alabama.

Stay Connected
Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.