He born in Beaufort, South Carolina. He entered Harvard at age 18, and did well. He returned to South Carolina without completing his studies, but received a degree in 1810. During the nullification crisis in South Carolina in 1832 he was a senator in the state legislature, but resigned upon being instructed by his constituents to vote to nullify the tariff law, not believing in the right of nullification, though unalterably opposed to protection. He afterward devoted himself to the management of his estates and rural sports, and occasionally published essays on rural economy, controversial articles on political science and economics, sporting sketches signed “Venator” and “Piscator,” and poems, and delivered many addresses before agricultural societies. His letters against secession, signed “Agricola,” and published in 1851, were among his latest expressions of opinion upon political subjects. He died in Charleston in 1863.