David Rogerson Williams

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David Rogerson Williams
David Rogerson Williams (South Carolina Governor).jpg
Member of the South Carolina Senate from Darlington District
In office
November 22, 1824 – November 23, 1828
Preceded by Rasha Cannon
Succeeded by John Dick Witherspoon
45th Governor of South Carolina
In office
December 10, 1814 – December 5, 1816
Lieutenant Robert Creswell
Preceded by Joseph Alston
Succeeded by Andrew Pickens
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 3rd district
In office
March 4, 1811 – March 3, 1813
Preceded by Robert Witherspoon
Succeeded by Theodore Gourdin
In office
March 4, 1805 – March 3, 1809
Preceded by Benjamin Huger
Succeeded by Robert Witherspoon
Personal details
Born (1776-03-08)March 8, 1776
Darlington County, South Carolina
Died November 17, 1830(1830-11-17) (aged 54)
Darlington County, South Carolina
Resting place Darlington County, South Carolina
Political party Democratic-Republican
Profession planter, lawyer, politician
Military service
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1813–1814
Rank Brigadier General
Battles/wars War 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, 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 interned on Plumfield Plantation near Society Hill.


  • David Rogerson Williams at Find a Grave
  • 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]

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

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

Succeeded by
Theodore Gourdin
Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Alston
Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Andrew Pickens