David Rogerson Williams, Governor

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David Rogerson Williams

Birthdate: (54)
Birthplace: Robbins Neck,South Carolina
Death: November 7, 1830 (54)
Society Hill, Darlington County, South Carolina, United States (accidentally killed while superintending the construction of a bridge)
Immediate Family:

Son of David Williams and Anne Williams
Husband of Elizabeth Williams; Sarah Williams and Gillian Williams
Father of David Rogerson Williams, II; John Nicholas Williams; George Williams; Sarah Williams; Mary Williams and 4 others
Brother of Mary Ann McIver

Managed by: Erin Spiceland
Last Updated:

About David Rogerson Williams, Governor


David Rogerson Williams (March 8, 1776 – November 17, 1830) was a Representative in the United States Congress and the 45th Governor of South Carolina from 1814 to 1816.

Early life and career

Born in Darlington County, Williams was educated at schools in Wrentham, Massachusetts and attended Rhode Island College until he withdrew in 1795. Nonetheless, after studying law he was admitted to the bar in 1797 and he practiced law in Providence, Rhode Island for three years. Williams returned to South Carolina and became an editor of the Republican papers City Gazette and Weekly Carolina Gazette of Charleston. In 1803, Williams moved to Darlington County to engage in cotton planting and various manufacturing enterprises.

Political career

Williams was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1804 from the 3rd congressional district as a Democratic-Republican. In general, Williams was a political maverick who stressed the need for limited government while also having greater accountability to the voters. When Williams first arrived in Washington D.C., he was offered to have dinner with President Thomas Jefferson, but Williams refused because he felt that it might interfere with his independence of mind. To let the voters know how their money was being spent, Williams requested an itemization of appropriation bills rather than a lump sum, but the House voted against an itemization.

As an ardent Nationalist, Williams left the House in 1813 to participate in the War of 1812 and was appointed by President James Madison as a Brigadier General in the U.S. Army. He resigned in 1814 because of personal reasons and was involved in agriculture until his election later that year as Governor of South Carolina for a two-year term by the General Assembly.

Later life and career

After leaving the governorship in 1816, Williams returned to Darlington County to resume his planting and manufacturing operations. He was elected in 1824 to the South Carolina Senate and served until his accidental death while superintending the construction of a bridge over Lynchs Creek on November 17, 1830. Williams was interned on Plumfield Plantation near Society Hill.

South Carolina Governor, US Congressman. He engaged in cotton planting and manufacturing until his death and built the first cottonseed-oil mill in South Carolina. From 1801 to 1803, he was editor and proprietor of the "City Gazette" and "Weekly Carolina Gazette of Charleston". He was elected as a Republican to the Ninth and Tenth Congresses, 1805 to 1809 and elected to the Twelfth Congress, 1811 to 1813. During the War of 1812 he was appointed by President James Madison as a Brigadier General in the United States Regular Army, but resigned after being elected Governor of South Carolina in 1814. He was member of the State senate from 1824 until he was accidentally killed while superintending the construction of a bridge over Lynchs Creek, Witherspoons Ferry, South Carolina.

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David Rogerson Williams, Governor's Timeline

March 8, 1776
Robbins Neck,South Carolina
July 2, 1797
Age 21
Society Hill, Darlington County, South Carolina, United States
October 1822
Age 46
South Carolina, United States
November 7, 1830
Age 54
Society Hill, Darlington County, South Carolina, United States