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This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities; this finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.
|Size||1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 1200 items)|
|Abstract||William Francis Stevenson (1861-1942) of Cheraw, S.C., was a lawyer, South Carolina state legislator, and United States representative, 1917-1933. The bulk of the collection is correspondence, 1917-1922, with constituents of the 5th Congressional District of South Carolina, concerning national questions and individual interests. There is some material relating to Stevenson's campaigns. Also included are a few papers relating to the Chesterfield and Lancaster railroad, 1901-1902, and correspondence reflecting Stevenson's interest in the Presbyterian church.|
|Creator||Stevenson, William Francis, 1861-1942.|
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William Francis Stevenson (1861-1942) was a native of Iredell County, N.C. He attended public schools and was also tutored by his father, a farmer and school teacher, while working on the farm. He taught school for a while before graduating from Davidson College in 1885. He again taught school in Cheraw, S.C., while studying for the bar, to which he was admitted in 1887, practicing in Cheraw and Chesterfield, S.C.
Stevenson was active in legal and business activities, taking part in the direction of the Chesterfield and Lancaster Railroad and acting as a general counsel for the Seaboard Airline Railroad, 1900-1917. He was attorney for the state of South Carolina in the legal arguments before the Supreme Court over the State Dispensary. He held offices in the county and state organizations of the Democratic Party. He was in the state legislature, 1896-1902 and 1910-1914, being speaker of the House of Representatives, 1900-1902. Stevenson was a candidate for Congress against the incumbent David E. Finley in 1914, but was defeated. After Finley's death in 1917, Stevenson was elected to Congress after defeating a number of opponents in two primaries. He served in the House from the 5th District of South Carolina, 1917-1933, and was a member of the board of the Federal Home Loan Bank in Washington, D.C., 1933-1939.
Stevenson was an opponent of Coleman Livingston Blease in South Carolina politics and was dubbed "Seaboard Bill" by Bleasites. He was a supporter of Woodrow Wilson and favored prohibition. Stevenson was also a prominent Presbyterian layman. In 1888 he married Mary E. Prince, daughter of W. L. T. Prince, a prominent attorney of Cheraw, S.C.Back to Top
The collection includes William Francis Stevenson's correspondence. The bulk of the papers is correspondence, 1917-1922, with constituents of the 5th Congressional District of South Carolina, concerning national questions and individual interests. Among his correspondents were local officials, editors, and party workers, members of the state legislature, bankers, manufacturers, farmers, and other persons in his district and in South Carolina, and other congressmen, officials of federal executive departments, and national lobbyists. These correspondents were concerned with prohibition, women's suffrage, Catholicism, war, appointments, military service, war contracts, taxes, and numerous other matters.
Among topics that appear in the papers are Stevenson's successful negotiations with Claude Kitchin to join the Banking and Currency Committee, the feud between Benjamin Ryan Tillman and Ed Smith in March 1917, Stevenson's opposition to the pardon of Eugene V. Debs, the attack on the leadership of Camp Clark in the House in 1919, and the prosecutuion of Andrew Ward Knisley who allegedly received a fraudulent appointment to Annapolis, Md.
There is some material relating to Stevenson's campaigns; a few papers relating to the Chesterfield and Lancaster railroad, 1901-1902, and correspondence reflecting Stevenson's interest in the Presbyterian church.
Notable correspondents include Martin Frederick Ansel, Coleman Livingston Blease, James Beauchamp Clark, Braxton Bragg Comer, Eugene V. Debs, John Gary Evans, David E. Finley, Courtney Walker Hamlin, Paul Grier McCorkle, Claude Kitchin, Thomas Riley Marshall, Jeanette Rankin, Ellison D. Smith, Benjamin Ryan Tillman, Thomas Edward Watson, and John Skelton Williams.Back to Top
Processed by: SHC Staff
Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007
Updated by: Kate Stratton and Jodi Berkowitz, July 2010
This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
This finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.Back to Top