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George McDuffie

George McDuffieBorn: 1788
Birthplace: Columbia County, GA
Died: 11-Mar-1851
Location of death: Cherry Hill, SC
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Cherry Hill Cemetery, Sumter, SC

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Politician
Party Affiliation: Democratic [1]

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Governor of South Carolina, 1834-36

The American politician George McDuffie was born in Columbia county, Georgia. He was admitted to the bar in 1814, and served in the South Carolina General Assembly in 1818-21, and in the national House of Representatives in 1821-34. In 1821 he published a pamphlet in which strict construction and states' rights were strongly denounced; yet in 1832 there were few more uncompromising nullificationists. The change seems to have been gradual, and to have been determined in part by the influence of John C. Calhoun. When, after 1824, the old Democratic-Republican party split into factions, he followed Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren in opposing the Panama Congress and the policy of making Federal appropriations for internal improvements. He did not hesitate, however, to differ from Jackson on the two chief issues of his administration: the Bank and nullification. In 1832 he was a prominent member of the South Carolina Nullification Convention, and drafted its address to the people of the United States. He served as Governor in 1834-1836, during which time he helped to reorganize South Carolina College. From January 1843 until January 1846 he was a member of the United State Senate. The leading Democratic measures of those years all received his hearty support. McDuffie, like Calhoun, became an eloquent champion of state sovereignty; but while Calhoun emphasized state action as the only means of redressing a grievance, McDuffie paid more attention to the grievance itself. Influenced in large measure by Thomas Cooper, he made it his special work to convince the people of the South that the downfall of protection was essential to their material progress. His argument that it is the producer who really pays the duty of imports has been called the economic basis of nullification. He died at Cherry Hill, Sumter district, South Carolina, on the 11th of March 1851.


[1] Democrat-Republican until 1823/24, then Democrat.

    US Senator, South Carolina (Jan-1843 to Jan-1846)
    Governor of South Carolina (1834-36)
    US Congressman, South Carolina (1821-34)
    South Carolina State House of Representatives (1818-21)


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