William Segar Archer (1789 - 1855)

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Birthplace: Amelia, Virginia, United States
Death: Died in Amelia, Virginia, United States
Managed by: Doug Robinson
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Immediate Family

About William Segar Archer


William Segar Archer (March 5, 1789 – March 28, 1855) was a politician and lawyer from Virginia who served in the United States Senate from 1841 to 1847. He was the nephew of Joseph Eggleston.


Born at "The Lodge" in Amelia County, Virginia, received a private education and graduated from The College of William & Mary in 1806. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1810, commencing practice in Amelia and Powhatan Counties. He served four terms in the Virginia House of Delegates between 1812 and 1819 and was elected to the United States House of Representatives to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of James Pleasants, reelected in 1820, 1824, 1826, 1828, 1830 and 1832, serving from 1820 to 1835. There, he served as chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs from 1829 to 1835 and was defeated for reelection in 1834.

Archer was elected a Whig to the United States Senate in 1840, serving one full term from 1841 to 1847. There, he served as chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations from 1841 to 1845 and of the Committee on Naval Affairs from 1841 to 1843. He was also a key member of the committee who drafted the Missouri compromise on which he exerted great influence. After being defeated for reelection by Robert M. T. Hunter in 1846, Archer resumed practicing law until his death at "The Lodge" in Amelia County, Virginia on March 28, 1855. He was interred in the family cemetery at "The Lodge".

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William S. Archer, U.S. Senator's Timeline

March 5, 1789
Amelia, Virginia, United States
March 28, 1855
Age 66
Amelia, Virginia, United States