William Aiken, Jr.

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William Aiken
William Aiken.jpg
61st Governor of South Carolina
In office
December 7, 1844 – December 8, 1846
LieutenantJ.F. Ervin
Preceded byJames Henry Hammond
Succeeded byDavid Johnson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1857
Preceded byJames L. Orr
Succeeded byWilliam P. Miles
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 6th district
In office
March 4, 1851 – March 3, 1853
Preceded byIsaac E. Holmes
Succeeded byWilliam W. Boyce
Member of the South Carolina Senate from St. Philip's and St. Michael's Parish
In office
November 28, 1842 – December 7, 1844
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from St. Philip's and St. Michael's Parish
In office
November 26, 1838 – November 28, 1842
Personal details
Born(1806-01-28)January 28, 1806
Charleston, South Carolina
DiedSeptember 6, 1887(1887-09-06) (aged 81)
Flat Rock, North Carolina
Resting placeMagnolia Cemetery, Charleston, South Carolina
Spouse(s)Harriet Lowndes Aiken
Professionbusinessman, planter
 
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William Aiken
William Aiken.jpg
61st Governor of South Carolina
In office
December 7, 1844 – December 8, 1846
LieutenantJ.F. Ervin
Preceded byJames Henry Hammond
Succeeded byDavid Johnson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1857
Preceded byJames L. Orr
Succeeded byWilliam P. Miles
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 6th district
In office
March 4, 1851 – March 3, 1853
Preceded byIsaac E. Holmes
Succeeded byWilliam W. Boyce
Member of the South Carolina Senate from St. Philip's and St. Michael's Parish
In office
November 28, 1842 – December 7, 1844
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from St. Philip's and St. Michael's Parish
In office
November 26, 1838 – November 28, 1842
Personal details
Born(1806-01-28)January 28, 1806
Charleston, South Carolina
DiedSeptember 6, 1887(1887-09-06) (aged 81)
Flat Rock, North Carolina
Resting placeMagnolia Cemetery, Charleston, South Carolina
Spouse(s)Harriet Lowndes Aiken
Professionbusinessman, planter

William Aiken, Jr. (January 28, 1806 – September 6, 1887) was the 61st governor of South Carolina, serving from 1844 to 1846. He also served in the state legislature and the U. S. Congress, running unsuccessfully for Speaker of the House in 1856 in “the longest and most contentious Speaker election in House history.”

Early life[edit]

Aiken was the child of William Aiken, the first president of the pioneering South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company. Unfortunately, William Sr. was killed in a Charleston carriage accident and never saw his namesake town of Aiken, South Carolina. Aiken graduated from the College of South Carolina (now the University of South Carolina) at Columbia in 1825 and engaged in agriculture as a planter, entering politics in 1837. He was a member of the State House of Representatives 1838-1842, and served in the State Senate 1842-1844.[1] His term as governor ran from 1844 to 1846.

Congressional service[edit]

Subsequent to his service as governor, Aiken served in the U. S. House of Representatives for the Thirty-second, Thirty-third, and Thirty-fourth Congresses (March 4, 1851 – March 3, 1857). In December, 1855, Aiken was a leading candidate for Speaker of the House of Representatives. After two months and 133 ballots, Aiken lost the race to Nathaniel P. Banks by a vote of 103 to 100, in what has been termed the “the longest and most contentious Speaker election in House history”.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Aiken was married to Harriet Lowndes Aiken. He was a successful businessman and planter and lived in Charleston, South Carolina. Aiken's first cousin, D. Wyatt Aiken served as a Confederate States Army officer and five-term U.S. Congressman. Aiken died at Flat Rock, NC, September 6, 1887, and was interred in Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, S.C. His house, the Aiken-Rhett House, is part of the Historic Charleston foundation.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Biographical Directory of the United States Congress". U. S. House of Representatives, Office of the Historian. 
  2. ^ "Historical Highlights, February 02, 1856". U. S. House of Representatives, Office of the Historian. Retrieved September 11, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
James Henry Hammond
Governor of South Carolina
1844 – 1846
Succeeded by
David Johnson
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Isaac E. Holmes
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 6th congressional district

1851 – 1853
Succeeded by
William Waters Boyce
Preceded by
James Lawrence Orr
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 2nd congressional district

1853 – 1857
Succeeded by
William Porcher Miles