George McDuffie: Southern Orator
George McDuffie, Southern Orator is a successful attempt to understand and depict the political and social sinews holding together the young and struggling American nation during the first half of the nineteenth century.
George McDuffie, lawyer and planter, the son of Scottish immigrants, played a significant role on the state and national stage during antebellum. He served as a state representative, South Carolina governor, and militia major general. He played a pivotal role on the national scene as a Congressman and a United States Senator.
As governor, McDuffie stressed education and brought stability to South Carolina College (now USC). His revamping of the State Militia resulted in a high state of military readiness in the state at the beginning of the war encountered a generation later in the struggle for Southern independence.
In Washington, McDuffie championed state rights, fought to lower tariffs and to secure admission of Texas into the Union. In the dispute over the Oregon Territory, he was instrumental in negotiating a treaty that set a boundary line between the United States and Canada thus preventing war with Great Britain. A protégé of John C. Calhoun, he sparred with the likes of John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Thomas Benton, John Randolph, William H. Crawford, and Robert Toombs. He supported the policies of Andrew Jackson, and then bitterly broke with him over Nullification.
McDuffie was a pioneer in textile manufacturing. He built a water-powered cotton mill at Vaucluse on Horse Creek in present-day Aiken County, which he operated with slave labor.
His Cherry Hill Plantation, overlooking the Savannah River in Abbeville District, sustained by the toil of 200 slaves, produced cotton on a grand scale during the golden age of King Cotton.
McDuffie’s daughter Mary Rebecca married land baron Wade Hampton who would later become a celebrated cavalry lieutenant general in the Confederate Army, and after the war, as governor of South Carolina, restored order in the state following reconstruction.
George McDuffie: Southern Orator - $22
Softcover, 230 pages, 6"x9", 30 photographs and illustrations, bibliography, notes, index, ISBN 978-0-9749976-6-7