Thompson, Waddy

Thompson, Waddy

(1798–1868) U.S. representative; born in Pickensville, S.C. A lawyer in Greenville, he was a Whig member of the South Carolina legislature (1826–30) who sought to nullify federal influence over his state. In Congress (Whig; 1835–41) he opposed antislavery petitions. As ambassador to Mexico (1842–44), he successfully negotiated the release of some 300 North American prisoners from the war between Texas and Mexico; he also opened the door for American immigration into California and generally improved relations between the two countries. He returned to South Carolina to practice law and opposed the war with Mexico. He also opposed secession but he lost his fortune during the Civil War.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.