William Dunlap Simpson

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William Dunlap Simpson
William Dunlap Simpson.jpg
Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court
In office
September 6, 1880 – December 26, 1890
Preceded by Ammiel J. Willard
Succeeded by Henry McIver
78th Governor of South Carolina
In office
February 26, 1879 – September 1, 1880
Lieutenant None
Preceded by Wade Hampton III
Succeeded by Thomas Bothwell Jeter
56th Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina
In office
December 14, 1876 – February 26, 1879
Governor Wade Hampton III
Preceded by Richard Howell Gleaves
Succeeded by John D. Kennedy
Member of the Confederate States House of Representatives from South Carolina's 4th district
In office
February 5, 1863 – March 18, 1865
Preceded by Milledge Luke Bonham
Succeeded by Position abolished
Member of the South Carolina Senate from Laurens District
In office
November 26, 1860 – February 5, 1863
Preceded by James Henderson Irby
Succeeded by Barney Smith Jones
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from Laurens District
In office
November 22, 1858 – November 26, 1860
In office
November 27, 1854 – November 24, 1856
Personal details
Born (1823-10-27)October 27, 1823
Laurens District, South Carolina
Died December 26, 1890(1890-12-26) (aged 67)
Columbia, South Carolina
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jane Elizabeth Young
Children 7
Alma mater South Carolina College
Harvard Law School
Profession Lawyer, politician
Military service
Allegiance Confederate States of America
Service/branch Confederate States Army
Rank lieutenant colonel
Battles/wars American Civil War

William Dunlap Simpson (October 27, 1823 – December 26, 1890) was the 78th Governor of South Carolina from February 26, 1879, when the previous governor, Wade Hampton, resigned to take his seat in the U.S. Senate, until 1880, when Simpson resigned to become Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court.

Born in Laurens District, South Carolina, in 1823, he was educated at South Carolina College (later the University of South Carolina), completing his studies in 1843, and spent one term at Harvard Law School. He practiced law in Laurens with his partner (and father-in-law) Henry Clinton Young. He served in the South Carolina legislature in the 1850s and early 1860s and serving in the Confederate States House of Representatives from 1863 to 1865.[1]

After the Civil War, he returned to practice law in Laurens until 1876, when he ran successfully for the post of lieutenant governor and was re-elected in 1878. Upon Wade Hampton resigning from the governorship to assume his senate seat, Simpson was elevated to become the 78th governor of South Carolina. He resigned prior to the ending of the term for governor after being appointed Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court and served for ten years from 1880 until his death in 1890. He is buried at the Laurens City Cemetery.[2]

The William Dunlap Simpson House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.[3]


  1. ^ "Death of the Chief Justice". Herald & News. Newberry, South Carolina. January 1, 1891. p. 2. Retrieved September 21, 2014. 
  2. ^ "William Dunlap Simpson (1823-1890)". Find a Grave. Retrieved September 25, 2014. 
  3. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  • Cooper, William (2005). The Conservative Regime: South Carolina, 1877-1890. University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 1-57003-597-0. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Richard Howell Gleaves
Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
John D. Kennedy
Preceded by
Wade Hampton III
Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Thomas Bothwell Jeter