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“H” is for Harper, William (1790-1847)

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“H” is for Harper, William (1790-1847). Jurist, U.S. senator. Born in Antigua, Harper was reared in Charleston. In 1805 he became the first student to enroll in the South Carolina College. He was admitted to the bar in 1813 and quickly won acclaim for his legal ability. In March 1826 he was appointed to a vacant U.S. Senate seat but did not seek election. He settled in Charleston and was elected to the S.C. House of Representatives, where he was elected Speaker. In 1830 he was elected to the Court of Appeals. He was a delegate to the 1832 Nullification Convention and was the principal author of the Ordinance of Nullification. With the abolishment of the Court of Appeals in 1835, William Harper was once again elected chancellor, serving in that position until his death.

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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.