LOWNDES, William

1782–1822

Biography

LOWNDES, William, (brother of Thomas Lowndes), a Representative from South Carolina; born on "Horseshoe" plantation, near Jacksonborough, St. Bartholomew's parish, South Carolina, February 11, 1782; pursued classical studies in England and at home; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1804 and commenced practice in Charleston, S.C.; also engaged in agricultural pursuits; member of the State house of representatives 1804-1808; captain of militia in 1807; elected as a Republican to the Twelfth and to the five succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1811, until May 8, 1822, when he resigned; chairman, Committee on Ways and Means (Fourteenth and Fifteenth Congresses), Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Treasury (Fifteenth Congress); nominated by the general assembly of South Carolina for the office of President of the United States in 1821; died at sea while en route to England October 27, 1822; remains were buried at sea.

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

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External Research Collections

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library
Southern Historical Collection, Manuscript Department

Chapel Hill, NC
Papers: 1754-1941, 1 linear foot. The papers contain chiefly correspondence while William Lowndes served in the U.S. House of Representatives. Correspondents include William Lowndes's wife, as well as other notable politicians. A finding aid for the papers is available in the library.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 1787-1842, 100 items. The papers include correspondence, journals, notes, and memoranda of William Lowndes. The bulk of the correspondence is between William Lowndes and his wife, Elizabeth (Pinckney) Lowndes, as well as with Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. Topics covered in the papers relate to military aspects of the War of 1812, internal improvements, coinage, and the conduct of foreign affairs, particularly the treaty-making power. The journals contain descriptions of day-to-day operations on William Lowndes's plantations with notes on rice cultivation, a trip to England in 1819, various aspects of British economic life, and historical anecdotes with observations on notable persons, and national internal improvements. Other correspondents include John Quincy Adams, William Harris Crawford, and William Wirt.
Microfilm: 1754-1941, 2 reels of microfilm. The original papers of William Lowndes are in the Southern Historical Collection, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Duke University
Manuscript Department, William R. Perkins Library

Durham, NC
Papers: In the William Lowndes and Thomas Lowndes Letters, 1795-1846, 8 letters. The letters are chiefly personal and include a description of William Lowndes's death at sea. Among the correspondents are John Connel, Robert Wilson Gibbes, and Thomas and William Lowndes.

South Carolina Historical Society Library

Charleston, SC
Papers: 1816-1817, 3 items. The correspondence consists of three letters pertaining to an offer of the post of U.S. Secretary of War to William Lowndes. Correspondents include James Madison and James Monroe.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Lowndes, William. Speech of Mr. Lowndes, delivered in the House of Representatives, Feb. 1819, on the Bank of the United States. [Washington: N.p., 1819].

------. The William Lowndes papers in the Southern Historical Collection of the University of North Carolina Library [microform]. James W. Patton, project director; Clyde Edward Pitts, editor. Chapel Hill: Microfilmed by the University of North Carolina Library Photographic Service, 1967.

Ravenel, Mrs. St. Julien. Life and Times of William Lowndes. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1901.

Vipperman, Carl J. William Lowndes and the Transition of Southern Politics, 1782-1822. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989.

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Committee Assignments

  • House Committee - Ways and Means - Chair
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