Library of Congress
BUTLER, Pierce (1744-1822)
Senate Years of Service: 1789-1796; 1802-1804

BUTLER, PIERCE, a Delegate and a Senator from South Carolina; born in County Carlow, Ireland, July 11, 1744; pursued preparatory studies; came to America in 1758 as an officer in the British Army; resigned his commission prior to the Revolutionary War and settled in Charles Town (now Charleston), S.C.; planter; aided the American cause during the Revolutionary War; delegate to the Continental Congress in 1787; delegate to the Federal Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 and one of the signers of the Constitution; elected to the United States Senate in 1789 for the term ending March 3, 1793; reelected December 5, 1792, and served from March 4, 1789, to October 25, 1796, when he resigned; again elected to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John Ewing Colhoun and served from November 4, 1802, until his resignation November 21, 1804; died in Philadelphia, Pa., February 15, 1822; interment in Christ Churchyard, Philadelphia, Pa.

Boston Public Library
Boston, MA
Papers: 2 items.

British Museum
Department of Manuscripts
London, England
Papers: 22 letters (March 15, 1789-March 5, 1791) of Major Pierce Butler.

Cornell University
Rare Books and Manuscript Collections
Ithaca, NY
Papers: October 23, 1795. 1 item. Note to John Ross.

Haverford College
Haverford, PA
Papers: 1 item (May 19, 1790) in Charles Roberts autograph collection.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: In the Butler family papers, 1771-1900. Part of the Wister family collection. Includes 2 letterbooks (1787-1822), chiefly concerning his personal financial situation; attempts to sell land, plantation issues, and slaves; and politics in the U.S. and France. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: 1 item (October 1, 1789) in Wayne manuscripts; 1 item in Wister papers; 1 item (November 30, 1789) in Gratz collection; in the Drayton family papers, 1796-1896; Butler family papers, 1771-1900; Deborah Norris Logan diaries, 1815-1839; Butler Estate papers, 1810-1894 (bulk 1846-1891); Pierce family papers, 1772-1888; and Coxe family papers, 1638-1897 (bulk 1776-1879).

Indiana University
Lilly Library
Bloomington, IN
Papers: 1 item (August 11, 1790) in Lafayette manuscripts.

Johns Hopkins University
Milton S. Eisenhower Library
Baltimore, MD
Papers: In the Edward M. Greenway collection, 1737-1876.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1779-1787. 1 container. Primarily photocopies. Also microfilm of Butler papers in the British Museum.

Massachusetts Historical Society
Boston, MA
Papers: 7 items (1789-1820) in various collections. Also, copies of letters (1789-1798) to him from Nathaniel Cutting.

National Archives and Records Administration
Washington, DC
Papers: 3 items (August 8, 1789-November 16, 1789) in Papers of the Confederation Congress.

Pierpont Morgan Library
New York, NY
Papers: 1793-1813. 6 items.

Rosenbach Museum and Library
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1782, 1800, and 1814 (2). 4 letters.

South Carolina Historical Society
Charleston, SC
Papers: Correspondence in Miscellaneous Manuscripts series I and II, 1631-1979.

South Carolina Department of Archives and History
Columbia, SC
Papers: 2 items (February 19, 1790 and August 11, 1790) in Legislative papers.

University of South Carolina
South Caroliniana Library
Columbia, SC
Papers: 1775-1819, 1976. 31 items. Correspondence regarding agricultural interest, politics, and land speculation, and letterbook (1790-1794) of political, business and family correspondence. Finding aid.

  • Bell, Malcolm, Jr. Major Butler's Legacy: Five Generations of a Slaveholding Family. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1987.
  • Coghlan, Francis. "Pierce Butler, 1744-1822, First Senator from South Carolina.'' South Carolina Historical Magazine 78 (April 1977): 104-19.
  • Hutson, James H. "Pierce Butler's Records of the Federal Constitutional Convention.'' Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress 37 (Winter 1980): 64-73.
  • Sikes, Lewright B. The Public Life of Pierce Butler, South Carolina Statesman. Washington: University Press of America, 1979.