GEORGE MC DUFFIE was born in Columbia County, Georgia. He graduated from South Carolina College in 1813 and was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 1814, practicing on his own in Pendleton and later as a partner in a law firm in Edgefield. In 1829, he moved to Cherry Hill, his plantation in Sumter District, South Carolina. He was a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1818 to 1820 and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1821 to 1834. He also served as a delegate to the South Carolina Nullification Convention of 1832. During his gubernatorial term, legislation was enacted providing that any free black who returned to South Carolina after being expelled should be sold as a slave, prohibiting the importation of any slave who had been north of Washington, DC, and requiring local officials to imprison any free blacks aboard vessels docked at South Carolina ports. After his term as governor expired, McDuffie went on to serve as a U.S. District Court Judge and as a member of the U.S. Senate from 1842 to 1846. Having sustained injury to his spine fighting several duels, he suffered from depression and died mentally ill.
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.