Born in Charleston, Governor Wade Hampton III (1818-1902) was educated by private tutors and later graduated from the South Carolina College. He studied, but never practiced, law. Instead, Hampton became involved in the management of his plantation near Columbia and another in Mississippi. From 1858 until 1862, he was a member of the state Senate. In the legislature, he voiced opposition to the re-opening of the slave trade. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Hampton bought equipment and raised a cavalry force that came to be known as Hampton's Legion. He rose through the ranks to become Commander of the Cavalry of the Army of North Virginia under General Lee. After the war ended, Hampton endorsed a policy of conciliation with the North, a view that was not popular with many of South Carolina's ex-Confederates. Hampton was declared governor in 1876 after a disputed contest with the incumbent governor, Daniel Chamberlain (see Portrait Of Daniel H. Chamberlain, 1864, and Wade Hampton III Monument) ended Federal military control of the state. Reelected governor in 1878, he resigned in 1879 to accept election to the U.S. Senate. He served in this position until 1891, retiring from politics when the Populist movement changed the political structure of the state. He died in Columbia in 1902. This carte-de-viste photo of Wade Hampton was taken in 1879.
Courtesy of the Darlington County Historical Commission.