Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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PERRY, Benjamin Franklin, lawyer, born in Pendleton district, South Carolina, 20 November, 1805; died in Greenville, South Carolina, 3 December, 1886. He was educated in Asheville, North Carolina, and Greenville, South Carolina, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1827. On becoming editor of the Greenville "Mountaineer" he boldly attacked the Nullification party, not sparing its leader, John C. Calhoun. The sturdy defence of his principles and the persistent warfare upon his political enemies led to the formation of a Union party in the state, and he was the chief spirit of its convention in 1832. In 1834 he was an unsuccessful candidate for congress, but in 1836 was elected to the lower branch of the legislature, serving until 1844, when he was sent to the state senate and labored earnestly for the Union cause. He established in 1850 a Union newspaper at Greenville, entitled "The Southern Patriot." In the legislature of 1850 he delivered stirring appeals to the loyalty of its members. When the state seceded in 1860, although he had tried to prevent the act, he embraced the Confederate cause and sent his sons to serve in the southern army. Under the Confederacy he held the offices of district attorney and district judge, and at the close of the war he was appointed provisional governor. Subsequently he was elected United States senator, but was not permitted to take his seat. He was a delegate to the National Democratic convention of 1876. Governor Perry was the author of "Reminiscences of Public Men"' (Philadelphia, 1883), and left in manuscript several sketches of American statesmen, which have been edited, enlarged, and published by his wife, entitled " Sketches of Eminent American Statesmen, with Speeches and Letters of Governor Perry, prefaced by an Outline of the Author's Life," with an introduction by Wade Hampton (Philadelphia, 1887).--His son, William Hayne, lawyer, born in Greenville, South Carolina, 9 June, 1837. was graduated at Harvard in 1857, practised law with his father, and served in the civil war in Brooks's troop of cavalry, which was afterward incorporated into the Hampton legion. He participated in the chief battles fought by the Army of Northern Virginia, and defended the coast of South Carolina. Subsequently he served in the legislature, and was elected as a Democrat to congress in 1884 and 1886.
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