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"S" is for Smith, William Loughton (1758-1812)

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"S" is for Smith, William Loughton (1758-1812). Lawyer, congressman, diplomat. In 1770, Smith was sent to Europe for schooling and remained there throughout the Revolutionary War. Returning to South Carolina, he was elected to the General Assembly and, in 1788, to the U.S. House of Representatives. His support for a stronger central government placed him squarely in the Federalist Party. He advocated Alexander Hamilton’s proposal that the central government fund the national debt, assume state debts, and form a national bank. Despite being a speculator in public securities, he served four terms in Congress. During the 1796 presidential election Smith published a series of satirical articles attacking Thomas Jefferson. In 1796, he was appointed minister to Portugal where he served until 1801. Returning to Charleston, William Loughton Smith resumed his law practice and invested in land.

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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.