Preston, William Campbell (12/27/1794-05/22/1860)

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  • Occupation: Lawyer; U. S. Senator, 23rd Congress 1833-1834, 24th Congress 1835-1836, 25th Congress 1837-1838, 26th Congress 1839-1840, 27th Congress 1841-1842, served on the Committee on the Library; president of South Carolina College, 1845-1851
  • Number of Terms: 1
  • Committees/Roles: Although he initially opposed the creation of the Smithsonian, Preston eventually became a strong advocate and joined the Board of Regents. Was a strong advocate of assigning the Smithson bequest to the National Institute.


  • Preston, William C. 1794-1860
  • Board of Regents
  • Citizen Regent
  • National Institute
  • South Carolina College


Smithsonian Board of Regents

Regent images can be seen at

Images of this Regent can be found in the following repositories: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Charleston City Hall; University of Virginia; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; RU 95, Smithsonian Institution Archives

Regent type



South Carolina

Short Legal Citation

9 Stat. 115 (1846), J. Res. No. 23


Preston, William C., Reminiscences of William C. Preston, edited by Minnie Yarborough, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1933; American National Biography. 24 volumes. Edited by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999; Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1971. The Continental Congress (September 5, 1774 to October 21, 1788) and the Congress of the United States (from the first through the ninety-first Congress March 4, 1789, to January 3, 1971, inclusive). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1971; Dictionary of American Biography. Volumes 1-20. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1928-1936; Who Was Who in America. A component volume of "Who's Who in American History." Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Revised Edition. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, 1967.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


Regent Tenure: 08/10/1846-1852


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  • Regents


South Carolina



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