SMITH, William, (1762 - 1840)

Senate Years of Service: 1816-1823; 1826-1831
Party: Democratic Republican

Courtesy U.S. Senate Historical Office

SMITH, William, a Senator from South Carolina; born around 1762, probably in North Carolina; attended several private academies; studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1784; settled in Pinckneyville, S.C., and later in Yorkville (now York), S.C., and practiced law; also was engaged as a planter; member, State senate 1802-1808, and served as president of that body 1806-1808; judge of the South Carolina Circuit Court 1808-1816; elected December 4, 1816, as a Democratic Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John Taylor; on the same day was elected for the term commencing March 4, 1817, and served from December 4, 1816, to March 3, 1823; unsuccessful candidate for reelection; chairman, Committee on the Judiciary (Sixteenth and Seventeenth Congresses); member, State house of representatives 1824-1825; again elected to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John Gaillard and served from November 29, 1826, to March 3, 1831; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1830; chairman, Committee on Private Land Claims (Twentieth Congress); member, State senate 1831-1832; moved to Louisiana in 1832, and to a farm near Huntsville, Madison County, Ala., in 1833; member, Alabama house of representatives 1836-1840; declined the appointment of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States tendered by President Andrew Jackson in 1829 and 1836; presidential elector on the Democratic ticket in 1836; died at his estate “Calhoun Place,” on the Maysville Pike, near Huntsville, Ala., June 26, 1840; interment in the family burial ground on the estate; reinterment in Maple Hill Cemetery, Huntsville, Ala.


American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Smith, Caroline. “Jacksonian Conservative: The Later Years of William Smith, 1826-1840." Ph.D. dissertation, Auburn University, 1977.