James Lawrence Orr
James Lawrence Orr

In office
December 7, 1857 – March 4, 1859
President James Buchanan
Preceded by Nathaniel P. Banks
Succeeded by William Pennington

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1849 – March 3, 1853
Preceded by Richard F. Simpson
Succeeded by William Aiken

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 5th district
In office
March 4, 1853 – March 4, 1859
Preceded by Armistead Burt
Succeeded by John D. Ashmore

In office

In office
February 18, 1862 – May 10, 1865

In office
November 29, 1865 – July 6, 1868
Lieutenant W.D. Porter
Preceded by Benjamin F. Perry
Succeeded by Robert K. Scott

Born May 12, 1822
Anderson County, South Carolina
Died May 5, 1873 (aged 50)
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Political party Democratic
Alma mater University of Virginia
Profession Law

James Lawrence Orr (May 12, 1822 – May 5, 1873) was an American politician who served as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives in the United States Congress. He later served in the Confederate Congress during the American Civil War and was the 73rd Governor of South Carolina.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Orr was born at Craytonville, South Carolina located in Anderson County, South Carolina.He graduated at the University of Virginia in 1841 and became an attorney. He served as a Democratic Congressman from South Carolina from 1849 to 1859, serving as the Speaker of the House from 1857 to 1859. Congressman Orr was an advocate of states' rights who used his position of power to assist those persons who promoted the continuation of slavery. He foresaw the consequences of the decision by South Carolina to attempt to secede from the Union, but he remained loyal to that State. He was one of the three commissioners sent to Washington, D.C. to negotiate the transfer of federal property to the State of South Carolina; the failure of these negotiations led directly to the bombardment of one of the highest-profile federal assets within South Carolina, Fort Sumter.

After Fort Sumter and the outbreak of the American Civil War, the former congressman organized and commanded Orr's Regiment of South Carolina Rifles, which saw little action before he resigned in 1862 and entered the Confederate Senate. Ironically, the regiment continued to bear his name throughout the war and fought in some of the most prominent battles of the Army of Northern Virginia. In the Senate, he remained a strong proponent of states' rights.

At the end of the war, Orr was elected governor in 1865 of the state of South Carolina and served until 1868 with the passage of a new state constitution. He died in St. Petersburg, Russia shortly after being named Minister to Russia by President Ulysses S. Grant. He is interred in the First Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Anderson, SC.

Template:Start box |- ! colspan="3" style="background: #cccccc" | United States House of Representatives |- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Nathaniel P. Banks |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
December 7, 1857 – March 4, 1859 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
William Pennington |- |- ! colspan="3" style="background: #cccccc" | Confederate States House of Representatives |- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Thomas Jefferson Withers |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Representative to the Provisional Confederate Congress from South Carolina
1862 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
(none) |- |- ! colspan="3" style="background: #cccccc" | Confederate States Senate Template:S-new |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Confederate States Senator from South Carolina
February 18, 1862 – May 10, 1865
Served alongside: Robert Woodward Barnwell Template:S-non Template:S-off |- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Benjamin Franklin Perry |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Governor of South Carolina
November 29, 1865 – July 6, 1868 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
Robert Kingston Scott |- |- ! colspan="3" style="background: #FACEFF;" | Diplomatic posts

|- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Andrew G. Curtin |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|United States Ambassador to Russia
December 12, 1872 – May 6, 1873 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
Marshall Jewell |- |} Template:SpeakerUSHouse

Template:Governors of South Carolina

de:James Lawrence Orr ja:ジェイムズ・ローレンス・オア sv:James Lawrence Orr

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