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Miles Benjamin McSweeney
South Carolina

Gov. Miles Benjamin McSweeney

  • June 2, 1899 - January 20, 1903
  • Democratic
  • April 18, 1855
  • July 4, 1921
  • South Carolina
  • Washington and Lee University
  • Succeeded


Born in Charleston, South Carolina MILES BENJAMIN MC SWEENEY became a printer’s apprentice as a teenager. He was awarded the Typographical Union of Charleston Scholarship to attend Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia but left school due to a lack of money. At the age of twenty-two he began publishing the Guardian in Ninety-six, South Carolina. Two years later he moved to Hampton, where he published the Hampton County Guardian. He served as both Corresponding Secretary and President of the Columbia Typographical Union and President of the South Carolina Press Association. He was also a trustee of South Carolina College and a member of the board of Visitors of The Citadel. His political activities included chairmanship of the Hampton County Democratic Committee and service in the South Carolina House of Representatives. McSweeney was Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina from 1897 until 1899, when he succeeded to the governor’s office after the death of Governor William Ellerbe. He was elected governor in his own right in November, 1900. During his administration, the Interstate and West Indian Exposition was opened to promote Charleston’s status as major seaport. As governor, McSweeney supported public schools and higher education. Limited by the new state constitution to four consecutive years as governor, he left office in 1903.


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.

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