WILLIAMS, David Rogerson (1776-1830)

WILLIAMS, DAVID ROGERSON, a Representative from South Carolina; born in Robbins Neck, S.C., March 8, 1776; attended school at Wrentham, Mass., and Rhode Island College (now Brown University), Providence, R.I.; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1797 and practiced for three years in Providence, R.I.; editor and proprietor of the City Gazette and Weekly Carolina Gazette of Charleston, S.C., 1801-1803; engaged in cotton planting and manufacturing in Darlington County, S.C., from 1803 until his death; built the first cottonseed-oil mill in South Carolina; elected as a Republican to the Ninth and Tenth Congresses (March 4, 1805-March 3, 1809); elected to the Twelfth Congress (March 4, 1811-March 3, 1813); brigadier general in the United States Army July 9, 1813, to April 6, 1814, when he resigned; Governor of South Carolina 1814-1816; member of the State senate from 1824 until he was accidentally killed November 17, 1830, while superintending the construction of a bridge over Lynchs Creek, Witherspoons Ferry, on the road to Georgetown, S.C.; interment on his plantation near Society Hill, Darlington County, S.C.

Brooklyn Historical Society
Brooklyn, NY
Papers: n.d. Political appointment.
Finding aid in repository.


Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1793-1816, 1 item.
A letterbook (1814-1816) containing copies of letters from David Rogerson Williams to William H. Crawford, Andrew Jackson, James Madison, James Monroe, and others on such topics as Williams's efforts to strengthen the South Carolina militia during the War of 1812 and his role in land negotiations with the Cherokee Indians. Also includes account book (1793-1795) for Williams's plantation and miscellaneous biographical material.


University of South Carolina
South Caroliniana Library
Columbia, SC
Papers: 1808-1930, 41 items and 2 volumes.
Chiefly letters from David Rogerson Williams to Stephen Decatur Miller and James Chesnut, re state and national politics, including nullification and tariff questions, Miller's candidacy for governor, the establishment, financing and operation of his cotton factory, ventures in cottonseed oil mill, crops, and news of family and friends.

Papers: 1826, 1 item.
A letter from David Rogerson Williams to Col. James Chestnut written on October 22, 1826. In the letter, Williams discusses news of mutual friends and relatives, the health of the Williams family, their return home from "the Springs," European travels of individuals identified only as "Nick" [the writer's son, Nicholas Williams, surviving spouse of Esthur Serena Chesnut, daughter of the recipient of this letter] and "Mr. Randolph," and recent elections in which "Darlington ... elected Mitchell & turned out [John Dick] Witherspoon."

  • Cook, Harvey Toliver. The Life and Legacy of David Rogerson Williams. New York: N.p., 1916.
  • Williams, David Rogerson. The substance of a speech, delivered in the House of Representatives on the 6th January, 1812. [Washington?: N.p., 1812].