George D. Tillman

This is an article about a U.S. politician. For the African-American film director, see George Tillman, Jr..
George D. Tillman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1883 – March 3, 1893
Preceded byEdmund W.M. Mackey
Succeeded byW. Jasper Talbert
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 5th district
In office
March 4, 1879 – July 19, 1882
Preceded byRobert Smalls
Succeeded byRobert Smalls
Member of the South Carolina Senate from Edgefield County
In office
November 27, 1865 – December 21, 1866
Preceded byThomas Glascock Bacon
Succeeded byFranz Walburg von Arnim
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from Edgefield District
In office
November 28, 1864 – December 22, 1864
In office
November 27, 1854 – December 19, 1855
Personal details
George Dionysius Tillman

August 21, 1826
Curryton, South Carolina
DiedFebruary 2, 1902(1902-02-02) (aged 75)
Clarks Hill, South Carolina
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materHarvard University
ProfessionAttorney, politician
Military service
AllegianceConfederate States of America Confederate States of America
Branch/serviceConfederate States Army
Years of service1862–1865

George Dionysius Tillman (August 21, 1826 – February 2, 1902) was a Democratic politician from South Carolina. He was a state representative, state senator, and U.S. Representative. He was the brother of Governor Benjamin Ryan Tillman, and father of James H. Tillman, who was Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina from 1901 to 1903 and in the latter year shot newspaper editor Narciso Gener Gonzales and was acquitted.[1]

Early life[edit]

He was born near Curryton, South Carolina, and attended schools in Penfield, Georgia, and in Greenwood, South Carolina. He attended Harvard University, but did not graduate. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1848, and commenced practice in Edgefield, South Carolina. During the American Civil War, he enlisted in the Confederate States Army. He served in the 3rd South Carolina Infantry Regiment in 1862. After the 3rd South Carolina was disbanded, he joined the 2nd South Carolina Artillery, in which he served until the close of the war.

Political career[edit]

He served as a state representative from 1854 to 1855 and in 1864. He served as member of the State constitutional convention in 1865, held under the Reconstruction proclamation of President Andrew Johnson. He then served as a state senator in 1865.

He was an unsuccessful candidate for election in 1876 to the Forty-fifth Congress. Tillman was elected as a Democrat to the Forty-sixth Congress from the Fifth district (1879-1881), and re-elected to the Forty-seventh Congress (1881-1883). He served from March 3, 1881, to June 19, 1882, when his election was overturned by the House. Republican Robert Smalls, his African-American opponent in 1880, contested the election, and succeeded Tillman.

Tillman was elected to the Forty-eighth Congress from the Second district and to the four succeeding Congresses (1883-1893). He served as chairman of the Committee on Patents in the Fifty-second Congress. He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1892. He served as member of the State constitutional convention in 1895, and was an unsuccessful candidate for election as Governor of South Carolina in 1898.

Besides his political and legal activities, he engaged in agricultural pursuits and also worked as a publicist.

He died in Clarks Hill, McCormick County, South Carolina, on February 2, 1902, and was interred in the Bethlehem Baptist Church Community Cemetery.


U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert Smalls
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
Robert Smalls
Preceded by
Edmund W. M. Mackey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
W. Jasper Talbert
  1. ^ Edgar, Walter B. (2006). The South Carolina Encyclopedia. University of South Carolina Press. pp. 962–963. ISBN 978-1-57003-598-2.