THOMPSON, Waddy, Jr. (1798-1868)

THOMPSON, WADDY, JR., a Representative from South Carolina; born in Pickensville (now Pickens), Ninety-sixth District, S.C., January 8, 1798; moved to Greenville with his parents in his infancy; received his early education in neighboring schools, and was graduated from South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina), at Columbia in 1814; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1819 and began practice in Edgefield, S.C.; moved to Greenville, S.C., and continued the practice of law; member of the State house of representatives, 1826-1829; elected solicitor of the western circuit in 1830; brigadier general of militia in 1832; elected as an Anti-Jacksonian to the Twenty-fourth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Warren R. Davis; reelected as a Whig to the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth Congresses and served from September 10, 1835, to March 3, 1841; chairman, Committee on Military Affairs (Twenty-sixth Congress); was not a candidate for renomination in 1840; appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Mexico and served from February 10, 1842, to March 9, 1844; moved to Madison, Fla., and engaged in cotton planting; appointed solicitor general of a circuit in 1868; died while on a visit to Tallahassee, Fla., November 23, 1868; interment in the Episcopal Cemetery.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: ca. 1826-1882, 89 items.
The papers chiefly consist of correspondence relating to nullification, relations with Mexico, plantation life, slavery, and South Carolina and national politics. Includes a number of family papers. Correspondents include George Bancroft, Andrew Butler, Pierce M. Butler, George A. Gardiner, John C. Gardiner, Hugh S. Legaré, F. W. Pickens, and William C. Preston. A finding aid is available in the library and online.


Boston Public Library
Boston, MA
Papers: 1 letter.

Dartmouth College
Rauner Special Collections Library
Hanover, NH
Papers: 1850, 2 pages.
A letter from Daniel Webster, Attorney General, to Waddy Thompson written on February 4, 1850. In the letter, Webster writes that he will speak for about an hour then Thompson will go on when he is called.

Papers: 1850, 1 item.
A letter from Daniel Webster to Waddy Thompson written on July 23, 1850. In the letter, Webster requests that Thompson, an attorney, confer with Webster about a case.


Duke University Library
Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library
Durham, NC
Papers: 1756-1873, 7 items.
Topics in the papers of Waddy Thompson include mortgage regulations in South Carolina, 1821; judicial reform in South Carolina, 1827; Federal financial assistance for a railroad in Charleston, 1830; the constitutionality of Federal treasury notes; politics; the plight of an American citizen imprisoned in Mexico; and a lawsuit, 1851, of Thompson against Gilbert L. Thompson and Richard I. Coxe for failure to pay for his services as lobbyist on behalf of American citizens holding claims against Mexico, 1851. Correspondents include David Johnson, William Ballard Preston, and Hugh Swinton Legaré.


Emory University Library
Special Collections Department, Robert W. Woodruff Library
Atlanta, GA
Papers: 1848-1865, 7 items.
Five letters (1848-1862) to Waddy Thompson from J. Pettigrew (possibly James Johnston Pettigrew, 1828-1863), Jane Pettigrew, and Henry Wise (possibly Henry Alexander Wise, 1806-1876), regarding personal and political matters; Thompson's oath of allegience to the United States government (1865) and his petition for pardon addressed to President Andrew Johnson (1865).


San Jacinto Museum of History
La Porte, TX
Papers: In the James L. Britton Collection, ca. 1817-1889, 0.2 linear foot.
Correspondents include Waddy Thompson.


University of California, Berkeley
The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, CA
Papers: 1844, 1 page.
A letter from Waddy Thompson to J.J. Crittenden written on January 4, 1844. In the letter, Thompson writes in his role as U.S. Minister to Mexico, concerning his efforts to revoke an order from the Mexican government expelling Americans from California and three other departments.


University of North Carolina
Southern Historical Collection
Chapel Hill, NC
Papers: 1823-1851, 83 items.
Chiefly correspondence of Waddy Thompson while he was U.S. minister to Mexico, 1842-1844, including letters to his wife, Emmala Butler Thompson, and letters received from American political friends in the United States, the Republic of Texas, and Mexico, concerning yellow fever epidemics and general living and working conditions in Mexico, and diplomatic relations among Mexico, Great Britain, and the United States. Also included are some business papers related to sugar and cotton planting and the slave trade in Alabama and South Carolina.


University of South Carolina
South Caroliniana Library
Columbia, SC
Papers: 1799-1869. 66 items.
Chiefly political correspondence and documents.

Papers: In the James Hamilton Papers, 1820-1859, 47 items.
Persons represented include Waddy Thompson.

Papers: In the William Pinckney McBee Papers, 1819-1937, 108 items.
Persons represented include Waddy Thompson.

Papers: In the Robert Barnwell Rhett Papers, 1832-1883, 78 items.
Persons represented include Waddy Thompson.

Papers: In Thompson-Jones family papers, 1800-1908, 1960. 439 items.
Correspondence relating to his diplomatic mission to Mexico and Indian affairs. Unpublished finding aids in repository.


University of Texas at Austin
Center for American History
Austin, TX
Papers: 1833-1848. 65 items.
Correspondence as Minister to Mexico.

  • Pickett, James Chamberlayne. The memory of Pocahontas vindicated against the erroneous judgment of the Hon. Waddy Thompson. By a Kentuckian. Washington: Printed by J. and G. S. Gideon, 1847.
  • Thompson, Waddy. An examination of the claims of Mr. Van Buren and Gen. Harrison to the support of the South. N.p., 1840.
  • ------. Recollections of Mexico. New York and London: Wiley and Putnam, 1847.
  • ------. Remarks of the Hon. Waddy Thompson, on the proposition to recognize the Republic of Hayti. Washington: Printed by Gales and Seaton, 1839.
  • ------. Speech of the Hon. Waddy Thompson, in the House of Representatives, on the Navy Appropriation Bill: Delivered on second and third of March, 1836. [Washington, D.C.?: N.p.,1836?]
  • ------. Speech of Waddy Thompson, of South Carolina, in the House of Representatives of the United States, being in Committee of the whole on the state of the Union. Delivered February 5, 1839. Washington: Printed at the Madisonian Office, 1839.
  • ------. Speech of Waddy Thompson, of South Carolina, on the Presidents annual message to Congress. [Washington: N.p., 1840].
  • ------. To the Honorable the Senate of the United States. Washington: J. & G. S. Gideon, 184-?