J. William Stokes

James William Stokes (December 12, 1853 – July 6, 1901) was a U.S. Representative from South Carolina.

James William Stokes
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 7th district
In office
November 3, 1896 – July 6, 1901
Preceded byHimself
Succeeded byAsbury F. Lever
In office
March 4, 1895 – June 1, 1896
Preceded byGeorge W. Murray
Succeeded byHimself
Member of South Carolina Senate
In office
Personal details
Born(1853-12-12)December 12, 1853
Orangeburg, South Carolina
DiedJuly 6, 1901(1901-07-06) (aged 47)
Orangeburg, South Carolina
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materWashington and Lee University
Vanderbilt University
Professionteacher, farmer

Born near Orangeburg, South Carolina, Stokes attended the common schools and was graduated from Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia, in 1876. He taught school for 12 years.

He was graduated in medicine from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. He engaged in agricultural pursuits in 1889. He served as president of the State Farmers' Alliance.

He served as member of the South Carolina Senate in 1890. He served as delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1892.

He was defeated by the African-American George W. Murray for election in 1892 to the Fifty-third Congress, but was successful in the 1894 election. He presented credentials as a Democratic Member-elect to the Fifty-fourth Congress and served from March 4, 1895, to June 1, 1896, when the seat was declared vacant.[further explanation needed]

Stokes was elected as Democrat in a special election to fill the vacancy thus caused. In 1895, South Carolina ratified a new constitution that disfranchised black voters. It became a one-party, Democratic state, with contests settled in the primaries. This situation continued until passage of federal civil rights legislation in the 1960s.

Stokes was re-elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-fifth, Fifty-sixth and Fifty-seventh Congresses and served from November 3, 1896, until his death in Orangeburg, South Carolina, July 6, 1901. He was interred in Sunnyside Cemetery.

See alsoEdit


  • United States Congress. "J. William Stokes (id: S000947)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • Memorial addresses on the life and character of J. William Stokes, late a representative from South Carolina delivered in the House of Representatives and Senate frontispiece 1902
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 7th congressional district

Succeeded by