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Pickens, Francis Wilkinson

PICKENS, FRANCIS WILKINSON (1805-1869), American politician, was born in Togadoo, St Paul's parish, South Carolina, on the 7th of April 1805, son of Andrew Pickens (1779-1838) and grandson of General Andrew Pickens (1739-1817). He was educated at Franklin College, Athens, Georgia, and at South Carolina College, Columbia, and was admitted to the bar in 1829. In 1832 he was elected to the state House of Representatives, where, as chairman of a sub-committee, he submitted a report denying the right of Congress to exercise any control over the states. He was a Democratic member of the National House of Representatives in 1834-1843, served in the South Carolina Senate in 1844-1845, was a delegate to the Nashville Southern Convention (see NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE) in 1850, was United States minister to Russia in 1858-1860, and in 1860-1862 was governor of South Carolina. He strongly advocated the secession of the Southern states; signed the South Carolina ordinance of secession; protested against Major Robert Anderson's removal from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter; sanctioned the firing upon the " Star of the West " (Jan. 9, 1861), which was bringing supplies to Anderson, and the bombardment of Fort Sumter; and was a zealous supporter of the Confederate cause. At the close of his term he retired to his home at Edgefield, South Carolina, where he died on the 25th of January 1869.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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