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KEITT, Laurence Massillon

KEITT, Laurence Massillon
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
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KEITT, Laurence Massillon, a Representative from South Carolina; born in Orangeburg District, S.C., October 4, 1824; pursued classical studies and was graduated from South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina) at Columbia in 1843; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1845 and commenced practice in Orangeburg; member of the state house of representatives, 1848-1853; elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-third and to the succeeding Congress (March 4, 1853-July 16, 1856); censured by the U.S. House of Representatives on July 15, 1856, for his role in the assault made upon Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts on May 22, 1856; resigned on July 16, 1856; elected in a special election to the Thirty-fourth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by his own resignation, and reelected to the two succeeding Congresses (August 6, 1856-December 1860); chairman, Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds (Thirty-fifth Congress); delegate to the secession convention of South Carolina; member of the provisional congress of the Confederacy in Montgomery, Ala., in February 1861 and in Richmond, Va., in July 1861; raised the Twentieth South Carolina Regiment of Volunteers and was commissioned its colonel on January 11, 1862; subsequently promoted to the rank of brigadier general; wounded in the Battle of Cold Harbor, near Richmond, Va., and died as a result of his wounds the following day, June 4, 1864; interment in the family cemetery, near St. Matthews, S.C.

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

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External Research Collections

Duke University Library

Durham, NC
Papers: 1855-1864, 146 items. Correspondence relating to personal matters, politics, and the Civil War.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Herd, Elmer Don, Jr., ed. "Laurence M. Keitt's Letters from the Provisional Congress of the Confederacy, 1861." South Carolina Historical Magazine 61 (January 1960): 19-25.

Keitt, Laurence Massilon. Speech of Hon. Lawrence M. Keitt, of South Carolina, on the origin of slavery; delivered in the House of Representatives, May 24, 1858. Washington: Printed at the Office of the Congressional Globe, 1858.

Merchant, John H. Jr. "Laurence M. Keitt: South Carolina Fire Eater." Ph.D. diss., University of Virginia, 1976.

Walther, Eric. H. "Palmetto Recklessness and Daring: Laurence M. Keitt and Louis T. Wigfall." In The Fire-Eaters, pp. 160-94. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1992.

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