Signer of the SC Ordinance – Dr William Columbus Cauthen

Dr William Columbus Cauthen

Dr William Columbus Cauthen


Dr. William Columbus Cauthen was born on 20 Dec 1825 in Hanging Rock, Kershaw, SC. He died on 4 May 1865 in Hanging Rock, Lancaster, SC. Graduated from the Medical School of Transylvania College in Lexington, KY in 1847. Set up his office in one corner of his father’s home in Hanging Rock.  Dr. William Columbus Cauthen was actively involved in state politics. He was elected and served in the South Carolina Legislature three terms in the state House of Representatives from 1852-1858.

In 1860 he refused a nomination as a delegate to the delegate selection committee for the National Democratic Convention to be held in Charleston, stating that South Carolina should boycott the convention. Later in 1860 Dr. Cauthen accepted the nomination to attend another convention, the Secession Convention in Columbia and Charleston. Cauthen along with two other delegates signed the Ordinance of Secession for Lancaster District.

Dr William Columbus Cauthen signature


He was buried in May 1865 in H.R. Meth Cem, Hanging Rock, Lancaster, SC.


Dr William Columbus Cauthen grave

Hanging Rock United Methodist Church Cemetery

Family links:
Thomas Cauthen (1780 – 1872)
Nancy Cauthen (1787 – 1849)

Margaret Jane Cauthen Cauthen (1833 – 1888)

J.T. Barksdale Cauthen (1849 – 1875)
Cauthen (1850 – 1850)
Lewis Jackson Cauthen (1851 – 1904)
Susan Emeline Cauthen (1853 – 1853)
Cauthen (1854 – 1854)
Cauthen (1855 – 1855)
William Columbus Cauthen (1856 – 1863)
Agnes Nancy Jane Cauthen (1859 – 1863)
Mary E. Cauthen (1861 – 1864)
Dixon B. Cauthen (1863 – 1884)


We hope that you have learned a little about one of our Confederate heroes. If you have any extra information that would add in educating the public please leave a comment below. All contributions are appreciated.

Today the South Carolina Division Honors these great men and sons, of the great State of South Carolina and in their memory are erecting a monument for future generations to remember their commitment and sacrifice of risking all for the freedom of this State.


The Signers of the South Carolina Ordinance of Secession Monument

The South Carolina Division will erect an impressive monument  to the memory of these patriots in the Charleston area during the Sesquicentennial.  Your help is needed, and you can be part of this major project.  There are several ways for camps, individuals, and businesses to memorialize a signer, an ancestor, a camp namesake, a camp, a family or an individual.

Artist rendition of the South Carolina Secession Signers Monument to be placed in Charleston, SC.

If you would like to help honor the brave men that led the people of South Carolina to independence  for a second time, you can see how here at

By | 2018-07-29T14:59:22+00:00 February 21st, 2014|Signers of the SC Ordinance of Secession|5 Comments

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  1. Leland Summers March 3, 2014 at 11:50 pm - Reply

    In Feb. 1865 Dr. Cauthen was bedridden probably from polio or TB. He cut a hole in the wall behind his headboard to hide his medical supplies. He ahd a black maidservant caring for him at the time. When Kilpatrick’s fine army arrived at his home later the same month, they attempted to locate and take his medical supplies. The maidservant would not disclose the hiding place of the supplies. She was raped and beaten to death by the Yankee invaders. They also dragged him from his bed, down the steps of his home and beat him he never disclosed the location of his supplies. He died from infection of the wounds he received from this incident. Dr. Cauthen’s house still stands today and the hole he cut in the wall is still there.

    • Joanna (Cauthen) Bryant November 11, 2014 at 9:08 pm - Reply

      There is a book published called “The Cauthen Family History” by Maryline Westenhaver. I am a great-great- great granddaughter of Dr. William C. Cauthen. He was bedridden with TB. I find it very interesting to hear about the details of the Yankee invasion. We have always been told that it was Sherman’s army, not Kilpatrick’s, whom arrived to ransack his house and take his supplies. The house he build continues to be a personal residence and is on the National Registry of Historical Buildings. I am curious as to where such details about the maidservant’s treatment could be found.

      William Columbus Cauthen and his wife, Mary Jane, had only 3 of their 10 children live into adulthood.

      We do have an original copy of his obituary, which tells of the high honor he held in the community. What is even more compelling is his great love and devotion for the Lord that is expressed in his obituary, which is written by A. J. Cauthen.

      Thank you for your research and contributions.

  2. Linda Wolfe July 14, 2014 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    Wasn’t Thomas Wade Moore a signer also of the Ordinance of Secession in SC ?

  3. Linda W. Joslin December 15, 2014 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Joanna Cauthen Bryant I have my grandmother’s SC Brasington/Cauthen family documented on Would you be willing to share a copy of Dr. Wm Columbus Cauthen’s obituary with me. And is it alright for me to post the obit on my Ancestry file. I set it up as a public file. My grandmother was Lillian Emily Sims Norman and my maternal great grandmother was Eliza Jane Brasington Sims. Eliza Jane’s father was Rev Wm Figuars Brasington. Rev Brasington (whom you are likely familiar with) married a Cauthen (Mary Jane).

    • Joanna (Cauthen) Bryant December 16, 2014 at 8:05 pm - Reply

      Yes, Ms Joslin, I would be happy to so do concerning the obituary. So glad to find a relative. We are 1/2 mile from dr. cauthens home place. Are you a member of colonial dames ? I am hesitant to publish my email publicly. How can we make contact privately?

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