JAMES BURCHILL RICHARDSON was born in what is now Clarendon County, South Carolina. He was a trustee of the public schools of Clarendon Orphan Society in 1798, a trustee of South Carolina College from 1801 to 1804 and again from 1809 to 1813, and director of the Bank of the State of South Carolina in 1812. His public service began with ten years in the South Carolina House of Representatives, after which he was elected governor by the legislature. Richardson's gubernatorial administration saw a growth in the cultivation of cotton. Also during his administration, the legislature repealed legislation against slave traffic but outlawed the importation of male slaves over the age of fifteen from other states. After leaving office, Richardson reentered the state House of Representatives for two years and was later elected to the state Senate, where he served from 1806 until 1814-his last year as President. He then returned to the House of Representatives one last time, serving for two additional years.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 12. New York: James T. White & Company.