William Smith (South Carolina senator)

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William Smith
William Smith-SC.jpg
Member of the Alabama House of Representatives from Madison County
In office
August 1, 1836 – June 26, 1840
United States Senator
from South Carolina
In office
December 4, 1816 – March 4, 1823
Preceded by John Taylor
Succeeded by Robert Y. Hayne
In office
November 29, 1826 – March 4, 1831
Preceded by William Harper
Succeeded by Stephen D. Miller
Member of the South Carolina Senate from York District
In office
November 28, 1831 – December 17, 1831
Preceded by Benjamin Person
Succeeded by William Randolph Hill
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from York District
In office
November 22, 1824 – November 29, 1826
Preceded by Multi-member district
Succeeded by William McGill
Personal details
Born 1762
North Carolina
Died June 26, 1840 (aged 77–78)
Huntsville, Alabama
Political party Democratic-Republican, Democratic
Profession Politician, Lawyer

William Smith (1762 – June 26, 1840) was chosen as a Democratic-Republican to the U.S. Senate representing South Carolina in 1816. The legislature declined to re-elect him when his term expired in 1823. He was narrowly chosen Senator in 1826 and was again replaced in 1831.

Smith was one of the first Southerners to argue, at the time of the Missouri Compromise in 1820, that slavery was a positive good; nevertheless, he opposed John C. Calhoun's doctrine and tactic of nullification. In 1828, seven electors from Georgia chose him for Vice President, instead of Calhoun, the Democratic nominee. He was also a splinter candidate for Vice President in 1836: Virginia refused to accept Richard Mentor Johnson as the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate, and voted for the ticket of Martin Van Buren and William Smith, putting Johnson two electoral votes short of a majority; the Senate chose Johnson.

In 1832, he moved to Louisiana, having lost his political base in South Carolina; in 1836, he moved on to Huntsville, Alabama, and was elected to the Alabama Legislature; he held that seat for the rest of his life.

On March 3, 1837, outgoing President Andrew Jackson nominated Smith to the Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed Smith's nomination by a vote of 23–18; nevertheless, Smith declined to serve.

External links[edit]

United States Senate
Preceded by
John Taylor
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from South Carolina
1816–1823
Served alongside: John Gaillard
Succeeded by
Robert Y. Hayne
Preceded by
William Harper
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from South Carolina
1826–1831
Served alongside: Robert Y. Hayne
Succeeded by
Stephen D. Miller
Party political offices
Preceded by
(none)
Democratic Party vice presidential candidate(1)
1828 (lost)
Succeeded by
Martin Van Buren
Preceded by
Martin Van Buren
Democratic Party vice presidential candidate(2)
1836 (lost)
Succeeded by
Richard M. Johnson,
Littleton W. Tazewell,
James K. Polk(3)
Notes and references
1. The Democratic Party vice-presidential nominee split this year between Smith and John C. Calhoun.
2. The Democratic Party vice-presidential nominee split this year between Smith and Richard M. Johnson.
3. The Democratic Party vice-presidential nominee was split this year between three candidates.