Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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RICHARDSON, John Smythe, jurist, born in Sumter district, South Carolina, 11 April, 1777; died in Charleston, South Carolina, 8 May, 1850. He was educated in Charleston, studied law under John J. Pringle, and was admitted to the bar in 1799. While he was a member of the legislature in 1810 he was the author of the general suffrage bill, which became a part of the state constitution, was speaker of the house, and resigned to become state attorney-general. He was appointed law judge in 1818, declined the nomination of the Republican party for congress in 1820, and in 1841 became president of the law court of appeals. He succeeded David Johnson as president of the court of errors in 1846, and the next year successfully defended himself in an attempt to legislate him out of office on account of his alleged inability to perform his judicial duties.--His son, John Smythe, congressman, born in Sumter district, South Carolina, 29 February, 1828, was graduated at the College of South Carolina in 1850, admitted to the Sumter bar in 1852, and, while practising his profession, also engaged in planting. He served in the Confederate army throughout the civil war, attained the rank of colonel, and was a member of the South Carolina legislature in 1865-'7, of the Democratic national convention in 1876, and of congress in 1879-'83.
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