William Aiken

Gov. William Aiken

South Carolina

Term(s)
December 1, 1844 - December 1, 1846

Born
January 28, 1806

Passed
September 16, 1887

Party
Democrat

School(s)
South Carolina College

Birth State
South Carolina

National Office(s) Served:
Representative

Family:
Married Harriet Lowndes; one child

BIO

WILLIAM AIKEN was born in Charleston, South Carolina. After graduating from South Carolina College in 1825, he operated a rice plantation on Jehossee Island. Prior to being elected governor, he was a member of the South Carolina legislature. Aiken’s focus as governor was on economic development and railroad construction, and large-scale manufacturing began to grow during his term in office. After leaving office, Aiken was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from 1851 until 1857. An opponent of secession, when the Civil War broke out he would not side with or against South Carolina. However, upon declining a federal government invitation to be present when the national flag was raised over Ft. Sumter after its surrender, he was arrested by command of the Secretary of War and taken to Washington under guard. He appealed to President Andrew Johnson-with whom he had been friends during their years of service in Congress-and was released by Johnson’s order. Although Aiken was elected to House of Representatives once again after the war ended, he was denied his seat by the Radical Republicans.

Source

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.

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

SCIway.net

Share via