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“D” is for DeSaussure, William Ford (1792-1879)

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“D” is for DeSaussure, William Ford (1792-1879). U.S. senator. A native of Charleston, DeSaussure graduated from Harvard. He was admitted to the bar and settled in Columbia where he served one term as Intendent. He represented Richland County in the state House of Representatives (1846-1850). In 1852 the General Assembly elected DeSaussure to complete the unexpired U.S. senate term of Robert Barnwell Rhett. DeSaussure considered the Senate to be “the arena where proud Sovereignties are fighting for their rights.” An ardent supporter of southern rights, he remained politically active after his service in the senate. He represented Richland District in the Secession Convention and signed the Ordinance. In later years William Ford DeSaussure resumed his law practice and remained active in the affairs of the South Carolina College where he was a trustee from 1833 to 1865.

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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.