Butler, Andrew Pickens | South Carolina Public Radio


"B" is for Butler, Andrew Pickens (1796-1857). Jurist, U.S. senator. After graduating from South Carolina College, Butler passed the bar and soon settled in his native Edgefield to practice law. He owed much of his early prominence and later political influence to his friendship with John C. Calhoun. He represented Edgefield District in both the South Carolina House and Senate. From 1833-1846 he was a state judge. In 1846, he was elected to the U.S. Senate and was reelected twice. In the Senate he echoed his mentor’s extreme sectional stance. During the Senate’s debate about the impact of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts referred to Butler as the “Don Quixote of slavery.” Shortly thereafter, Andrew Pickens Butler’s cousin assaulted Sumner on the floor of the Senate—an incident that heightened sectional tensions.

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