Gov./Sen. Stephen Decatur Miller

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Gov./Sen. Stephen Decatur Miller

Birthdate: (50)
Birthplace: Waxhaw settlement, South Carolina
Death: March 8, 1838 (50)
Raymond, Mississippi
Immediate Family:

Son of Margaret Mary Miller
Husband of Mary Whitaker Miller and Elizabeth Miller
Father of Mary Boykin Chesnut; Sarah Amelia Boykin; Stephen Decatur Miller, Jr.; Catherine Boykin Williams; Elias Dick Miller and 2 others

Managed by: Erin Spiceland
Last Updated:

About Gov./Sen. Stephen Decatur Miller

Stephen Decatur Miller (May 8, 1787 – March 8, 1838) was an American politician, who served as the 52nd Governor of South Carolina from 1828 to 1830. He represented South Carolina as a U.S. Representative from 1817 to 1819, and as a U.S. Senator from 1831 to 1833.

He was born in Waxhaw settlement, South Carolina and graduated from South Carolina College in 1808. After he studied law, he practiced in Sumterville. Stephen Decatur Miller was married twice. His first wife, Elizabeth Dick, died in 1819. None of their three children lived to adulthood. Miller remarried in 1821; his second wife was a girl sixteen years his junior, Mary Boykin (1804−1885). They had four children together. Despite the age difference, their marriage was happy and passionate.

During his successful campaign for the Senate on a platform of abolishing tariffs, he made a speech at Stateburg, South Carolina in September 1830 where he said "There are three and only three ways to reform our Congressional legislation, familiarly called, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box". Stephen Miller renounced his political career in 1833 and ventured into farming in Mississippi. He died in Raymond, Mississippi, in 1838, leaving his wife and children in debt.

Their daughter Mary Boykin Miller (1823–86) married James Chesnut, Jr. (1815–85), who later became a U.S. Senator and a Confederate general. Mary Chesnut became famous for her diary documenting life in South Carolina during the Civil war

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Gov./Sen. Stephen Decatur Miller's Timeline

May 8, 1787
Waxhaw settlement, South Carolina
March 31, 1823
Age 35
Statesboro, Sumter District, SC
March 3, 1824
Age 36
South Carolina, United States
May 24, 1827
Age 40
March 8, 1838
Age 50
Raymond, Mississippi