Butler, Pierce

Butler, Pierce (1744-1822) Pierce Butler was born on July 11, 1744, in County Carlow, Ireland. He was stationed in North America as a major in the British Army. After he resigned his commission in 1773, he set up a home in South Carolina with his wife, the daughter of a local planter. Butler adopted the patriot cause, and spent most of the period from 1778 to 1789 as a member of the South Carolina legislature. In 1787, he attended the Philadelphia Convention, and was responsible for the clause calling for the return of fugitive slaves. He signed the Constitution, and was elected to the Senate as a Federalist in 1789. Reelected in 1792, he resigned in 1796. Appointed to a vacant position in the Senate in 1802, he again resigned in 1804. Butler died in Philadelphia, on February 15, 1822.