STEPHEN DECATUR MILLER was born in Waxhaw Settlement, Lancaster District, South Carolina. After graduating from South Carolina College in 1808, he studied law and was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 1811. He initially filled a vacancy in the U.S. House of Representatives and won election to the seat in his own right, serving from 1817 to 1819. He was also a member of the South Carolina Senate from 1822 until 1828, when the state legislature elected him governor. As governor, Miller was a strong supporter of states rights and of the movement advocating the power of states to nullify federal law-particularly tariffs. When his gubernatorial term expired, he was elected to the U.S. Senate and was a member of both the 1832 and 1833 South Carolina Conventions that were called to consider nullification. After serving in the Senate for less then two years, he resigned in 1833 due to ill health and retired to Mississippi, where he died.
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.