David Rogerson Williams

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David Rogerson Williams
Member of the South Carolina Senate from Darlington District
In office
November 22, 1824 – November 23, 1828
Preceded byRasha Cannon
Succeeded byJohn Dick Witherspoon
45th Governor of South Carolina
In office
December 10, 1814 – December 5, 1816
LieutenantRobert Creswell
Preceded byJoseph Alston
Succeeded byAndrew Pickens
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 3rd district
In office
March 4, 1811 – March 3, 1813
Preceded byRobert Witherspoon
Succeeded byTheodore Gourdin
In office
March 4, 1805 – March 3, 1809
Preceded byBenjamin Huger
Succeeded byRobert Witherspoon
Personal details
Born(1776-03-08)March 8, 1776
Darlington County, Province of South Carolina, British America
DiedNovember 17, 1830(1830-11-17) (aged 54)
Darlington County, South Carolina, U.S.
Resting placeDarlington County, South Carolina
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
Professionplanter, lawyer, politician
Military service
AllegianceUnited States United States of America
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Years of service1813–1814
RankBrigadier general
Battles/warsWar of 1812

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[edit]

Born in Darlington County in the Province of South Carolina, 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[edit]

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[edit]

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 interred on Plumfield Plantation near Society Hill.


  • Wallace, David Duncan (1951). South Carolina: A Short History. University of North Carolina Press. pp. 361–362, 366, 368, 370, 379–380, 391–392, 397, 407, 420, 425, 446, 451, 645.
  • Wolfe, John Harold (1940). Jeffersonian Democracy in South Carolina. University of North Carolina Press. pp. 182, 190, 203–205, 218, 234–235, 249, 251, 264, 265, 280.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by