BUTLER, Pierce

BUTLER, Pierce
Library of Congress
1744–1822

Biography

BUTLER, Pierce, a Delegate and a Senator from South Carolina; born in County Carlow, Ireland, July 11, 1744; pursued preparatory studies; came to America in 1758 as an officer in the British Army; resigned his commission prior to the Revolutionary War and settled in Charles Town (now Charleston), S.C.; planter; aided the American cause during the Revolutionary War; delegate to the Continental Congress in 1787; delegate to the Federal Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 and one of the signers of the Constitution; elected to the United States Senate in 1789 for the term ending March 3, 1793; reelected December 5, 1792, and served from March 4, 1789, to October 25, 1796, when he resigned; again elected to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John Ewing Colhoun and served from November 4, 1802, until his resignation November 21, 1804; died in Philadelphia, Pa., February 15, 1822; interment in Christ Churchyard, Philadelphia, Pa.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Boston Public Library

Boston, MA
Papers: 2 items.

British Museum
Department of Manuscripts

London, England
Papers: 22 letters (March 15, 1789-March 5, 1791) of Major Pierce Butler.

Cornell University Libraries
Rare Books and Manuscript Collections

Ithaca, NY
Papers: October 23, 1795. 1 item. Note to John Ross.

Haverford College

Haverford, PA
Papers: 1 item (May 19, 1790) in Charles Roberts autograph collection.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: In the Butler family papers, 1771-1900. Part of the Wister family collection. Includes 2 letterbooks (1787-1822), chiefly concerning his personal financial situation; attempts to sell land, plantation issues, and slaves; and politics in the U.S. and France. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: 1 item (October 1, 1789) in Wayne manuscripts; 1 item in Wister papers; 1 item (November 30, 1789) in Gratz collection; in the Drayton family papers, 1796-1896; Butler family papers, 1771-1900; Deborah Norris Logan diaries, 1815-1839; Butler Estate papers, 1810-1894 (bulk 1846-1891); Pierce family papers, 1772-1888; and Coxe family papers, 1638-1897 (bulk 1776-1879).

Indiana University
Lilly Library

Bloomington, IN
Papers: 1 item (August 11, 1790) in Lafayette manuscripts.

Johns Hopkins University
Milton S. Eisenhower Library

Baltimore, MD
Papers: In the Edward M. Greenway collection, 1737-1876.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 1779-1787. 1 container. Primarily photocopies. Also microfilm of Butler papers in the British Museum.

Massachusetts Historical Society

Boston, MA
Papers: 7 items (1789-1820) in various collections. Also, copies of letters (1789-1798) to him from Nathaniel Cutting.

National Archives and Records Administration

Washington, DC
Papers: 3 items (August 8, 1789-November 16, 1789) in Papers of the Confederation Congress.

Pierpont Morgan Library

New York, NY
Papers: 1793-1813. 6 items.

Rosenbach Museum and Library

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1782, 1800, and 1814 (2). 4 letters.

South Carolina Historical Society

Charleston, SC
Papers: Correspondence in Miscellaneous Manuscripts series I and II, 1631-1979.

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

Columbia, SC
Papers: 2 items (February 19, 1790 and August 11, 1790) in Legislative papers.

University of South Carolina
South Caroliniana Library

Columbia, SC
Papers: 1775-1819, 1976. 31 items. Correspondence regarding agricultural interest, politics, and land speculation, and letterbook (1790-1794) of political, business and family correspondence. Finding aid.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Bell, Malcolm, Jr. Major Butler's Legacy: Five Generations of a Slaveholding Family. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1987.

Coghlan, Francis. "Pierce Butler, 1744-1822, First Senator from South Carolina." South Carolina Historical Magazine 78 (April 1977): 104-19.

Hutson, James H. "Pierce Butler's Records of the Federal Constitutional Convention." Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress 37 (Winter 1980): 64-73.

Sikes, Lewright B. The Public Life of Pierce Butler, South Carolina Statesman. Washington: University Press of America, 1979.

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