SMITH, Ellison DuRant (1864-1944)

SMITH, ELLISON DURANT, a Senator from South Carolina; born in Lynchburg, Sumter (now Lee) County, S.C., August 1, 1864; attended the private and public schools of Lynchburg, Stewart's School at Charleston, S.C., and the University of South Carolina at Columbia; graduated from Wofford College at Spartanburg, S.C., in 1889; member, State house of representatives 1896-1900; unsuccessful candidate for the United States Congress 1901; engaged in mercantile and agricultural pursuits; one of the principal figures in the organization of the Southern Cotton Association in 1905; field agent and general organizer in the cotton protective movement 1905-1908 and became known as "Cotton Ed"; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1908; reelected in 1914, 1920, 1926, 1932 and 1938 and served from March 4, 1909, until his death; unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1944; chairman, Committee on Transportation Routes to the Seaboard (Sixty-second Congress), Committee on Immigration (Sixty-third through Sixty-fifth Congresses), Committee on Interstate Commerce (Sixty-fifth and Sixty-eighth Congresses), Committee on Conservation of Natural Resources (Sixty-sixth Congress), Committee on Agriculture and Forestry (Seventy-third through Seventy-eighth Congresses); died in Lynchburg, S.C., on November 17, 1944; interment in St. Lukes Cemetery.


South Carolina Historical Society
Charleston, SC
Papers: Correspondence in Turner Logan papers, ca.1918-ca.1950.

University of South Carolina
South Caroliniana Library
Columbia, SC
Papers: 1908-1944. 4 microfilm reels and 2 items. Microfilm of 19 volumes of scrapbooks (1909-1944), 1 political letter (1908), and campaign broadside (1932).
Additional Papers: Also correspondence in William E. Gonzales papers, 1922-1937; Columbia Chamber of Commerce records, 1929-1943; and David Wallace Robinson papers, 1933-1935. Finding aid.

Witchita State University Library
Witchita, KS
Papers: Correspondence in Homer Hoch papers, 1919-1933.

  • Bouknight, Martha Nelle. "The Senatorial Campaigns of Ellison Durant `Cotton Ed' Smith of South Carolina.'' Master's thesis, Florida State University, 1961.
  • Gehring, Mary Louise. " `Cotton Ed' Smith: The South Carolina Farmer in the United States Senate.'' In The Oratory of Southern Demagogues, edited by Cal M. Logue and Howard Dorgan, pp. 131-48. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1981.
  • Hollis, Daniel W. " `Cotton Ed Smith'--Showman or Statesman?''South Carolina Historical Magazine 71 (October 1970): 235-56.
  • Smith, Selden Kennedy. "Ellison DuRant Smith: A Southern Progressive, 1909-1929.'' Ph.D. dissertation, University of South Carolina, 1970.
  • U.S. Congress. Memorial Services Held in the House of Representatives and Senate of the United States, Together with Remarks Presented in Eulogy of Ellison DuRant Smith, Late a Senator from South Carolina. 79th Cong., 1st sess., 1945. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1947.