PRESTON, William Campbell, (1794 - 1860)

Senate Years of Service: 1833-1837; 1837-1842
Party: Nullifier; Whig

Courtesy U.S. Senate Historical Office

PRESTON, William Campbell, (son of Francis Preston; uncle of William Campbell Preston Breckinridge), a Senator from South Carolina; born in Philadelphia, Pa., on December 27, 1794; studied under private tutors; attended Washington College (later Washington and Lee University), Lexington, Va., and graduated from South Carolina College (later the University of South Carolina) at Columbia in 1812; traveled and studied in Europe for several years; studied law at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland; returned to the United States in 1819; admitted to the bar in Virginia in 1820 and practiced; moved to Columbia, S.C., in 1822; unsuccessful candidate for election in 1828 to the Twenty-second Congress; member, State house of representatives 1828-1834; elected in 1833 as a Nullifier to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Stephen D. Miller; reelected as a Whig in 1837 and served from November 26, 1833, until his resignation on November 29, 1842; chairman, Committee on the Library (Twenty-seventh Congress), Committee on Military Affairs (Twenty-seventh Congress); resumed the practice of law in Columbia, S.C.; president of South Carolina College 1845-1851, when he resigned due to ill health; died in Columbia, S.C., on May 22, 1860; interment in the Trinity Episcopal Churchyard, Columbia, S.C.


American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Lander, Ernest M., Jr. “The Calhoun-Preston Feud, 1836-1842.” South Carolina Historical Magazine 59 (January 1958): 24-37; Preston, William C. Reminiscences of William C. Preston. Edited by Minnie Yarborough. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1933.