John Peter Richardson II

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John Peter Richardson II
John Peter Richardson II.jpg
59th Governor of South Carolina
In office
December 9, 1840 – December 8, 1842
Lieutenant William K. Clowney
Preceded by Barnabas Kelet Henagan
Succeeded by James Henry Hammond
Member of the United States House of Representatives from South Carolina's 8th district
In office
December 19, 1836 – March 3, 1839
Preceded by Richard Irvine Manning I
Succeeded by Thomas De Lage Sumter
Member of the South Carolina Senate from Clarendon District
In office
November 24, 1834 – December 19, 1836
Preceded by Richard Irvine Manning I
Succeeded by David St. Pierre DuBose
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from Clarendon District
In office
November 28, 1825 – November 24, 1834
Alongside Swepson Cox, William Smith, William Rose, William R. Burgess
Preceded by Richard Irvine Manning I
Succeeded by David St. Pierre DuBose
Personal details
Born (1801-04-14)April 14, 1801
Clarendon County, South Carolina
Died January 24, 1864(1864-01-24) (aged 62)
Fulton, South Carolina
Political party Democratic

John Peter Richardson II (April 14, 1801 – January 24, 1864) was the 59th Governor of South Carolina from 1840 to 1842.

Early life and career[edit]

Born on Hickory Hill Plantation in Clarendon County, Richardson was educated at Moses Waddel's School in Willington. He graduated from South Carolina College in 1819 and practiced law upon passing the bar. At the age of 24, Richardson was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1825 and was known as a Unionist during the Nullification Crisis of the early 1830s. He was elevated to the South Carolina Senate in 1834 and won a seat in Congress as a Jacksonian for the 8th district after the death of Richard Irvine Manning I in 1836. Running as a Democrat, Richardson won re-election for a full term to the Twenty-fifth Congress.

As Governor[edit]

By the late 1830s, South Carolina's political leaders grew increasingly anxious about the prospects of the Whigs taking control of the federal government and enacting high tariffs. The only option that they felt available to them was the reconciliation of the factions in South Carolina and to put up a united opposition through the Democratic Party. John C. Calhoun, Robert Rhett and Franklin H. Elmore led the effort to unite the Unionists and the Secessionists and one measure undertaken to reunite the factions was the election of Richardson as Governor of South Carolina in 1840. Nonetheless, extreme secessionists opposed a Unionist being governor and James Henry Hammond entered the gubernatorial race to oppose Richardson. The South Carolina General Assembly followed the lead of Calhoun to end the infighting and Richardson was elected governor.

Richardson's term as governor was marked by the Bank of South Carolina refusing to adopt new banking regulations and the enactment of the Tariff of 1842 by the federal government. He promoted the establishment of the South Carolina Military Academy in Charleston because he felt that the militia of the state should be well educated and trained.

Later life[edit]

Upon leaving the governorship in 1842, Richardson remained active in politics by participating at the Southern Convention of 1850, the Southern Rights Convention of 1852 and he signed the Ordinance of Secession at the Secession Convention of 1860. He died in Fulton on January 24, 1864, and was buried at the Richardson Cemetery on Hickory Hill Plantation.

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Richard Irvine Manning I
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 8th congressional district

Succeeded by
Thomas De Lage Sumter
Political offices
Preceded by
Barnabas Kelet Henagan
Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
James Henry Hammond