Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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SIMKINS, Arthur, legislator, born on the eastern shore of Virginia about 1750; died in Edgefield, South Carolina, in 1826. He emigrated to South Carolina early in life, and ultimately established himself on Log creek, in Edgefield district. Having studied law and been admitted to the bar, he was made county court judge. At the beginning of the Revolutionary war he took sides with the patriots, and his place, known as "Cedar Fields," was burned by the Tories. After the war he was chosen a member of the general assembly, and retained his seat for nearly twenty years. He was also a delegate to the convention that adopted the Federal constitution, and he voted against it on the ground that it took too much power from the states. --His son, Eldred, lawyer, born in Edgefield district, S. (2., 29 August, 1779; died there in 1832, was well educated at home, and subsequently attended the Litchfield, Connecticut, law-school, where he remained for more than three years. He then made himself thoroughly acquainted with the local laws of South Carolina, and was admitted go the bar, 7 May, 1805, beginning to practise at Edgefield courthouse in 1806, and soon winning a reputation. In 1812 he was elected lieutenant-governor, and five years later he was chosen a member of congress to replace John C. Calhoun, who had accepted a seat in President Monroe's cabinet. He was re-elected and served from 8 February, 1818, till 3 March, 1821, but declined a second re-election, and retired in favor of his law-partner, George McDuffie. He was repeatedly a member of the legislature, and in 1825 prepared an act, which was passed, giving jurisdiction to certain courts to order the sale or division of the real estate of intestates not exceeding $1,000 in value. He was employed in many important eases, but was always of feeble health, and in later years unable to confine himself closely to his profession.
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