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James P. Richards

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

James Prioleau Richards
James Richards portrait, 1956.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 5th district
In office
March 4, 1933 – January 3, 1957
Preceded byWilliam F. Stevenson
Succeeded byRobert W. Hemphill
Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
In office
January 3, 1951 – January 3, 1953
Preceded byJohn Kee
Succeeded byRobert B. Chiperfield
In office
January 3, 1955 – January 3, 1957
Preceded byRobert B. Chiperfield
Succeeded byThomas S. Gordon
Personal details
Born(1894-08-31)August 31, 1894
Liberty Hill, South Carolina
DiedFebruary 21, 1979(1979-02-21) (aged 84)
Lancaster, South Carolina
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materClemson College
University of South Carolina
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Years of service1917 – 1919
RankSecond Lieutenant
Unit118th Regiment, 30th Division
Battles/warsFirst World War

James Prioleau "Dick" Richards (August 31, 1894 – February 21, 1979) was a lawyer, judge, and Democrat U.S. Representative from South Carolina between 1933 and 1957.[1] He later served as a special ambassador under Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower.


Born in Liberty Hill, South Carolina, Richards attended in-state county schools and Clemson College, in Clemson.


During the First World War, Richards served overseas as a private, corporal, sergeant, and second lieutenant in the Trench Mortar Battery, Headquarters Company, 118th Infantry Regiment, 30th Division from 1917 to 1919.

Lawyer and judge

Richards graduated from the law department of the University of South Carolina at Columbia in 1921 and was admitted to the bar the same year, commencing practice in Lancaster, South Carolina. He served as judge of the probate court of Lancaster County, South Carolina from 1923 to 1933.


Richards was elected as a Democrat to the seventy-third Congress and reelected to the eleven succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1933 – January 3, 1957).

A confidential 1943 analysis of the House Foreign Affairs Committee by Isaiah Berlin for the British Foreign Office described Richards as having "supported the Administration on foreign policy before and after Pearl Harbour all the way with the single exception of the vote on lifting belligerent zones for American ships three weeks before Pearl Harbour ... Probably internationalist rather than nationalist in outlook." His voting record was "consistently pro-British." He voted in favor of the 1941 Lend Lease Act[2] and in favor of the 1944 Lend Lease Act.[3][4] In 1947-8, he served on the Herter Committee.[5] During the Eighty-second and Eighty-fourth Congresses he served as chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. In 1953 Richards served as delegate to the Japanese Peace Conference and United States delegate to the United Nations. Hoping to retire from Congress, he was not a candidate for reelection in 1956 to the Eighty-fifth Congress.

He was a signatory to the 1956 Southern Manifesto that opposed the desegregation of public schools ordered by the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education.

Later life

He served as special assistant to President Eisenhower, January 1957-January 1958, for the Middle East, following announcement of the Eisenhower Doctrine.[6] With this position, Richards held rank of ambassador. Following this, he resided in Lancaster, South Carolina and resumed the practice of law.


Richards died there on February 21, 1979 and was interred in Liberty Hill Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Liberty Hill, S. C.


  1. ^ James P. Richards
  2. ^ "Voteview | Plot Vote: 77th Congress > House > 6".
  3. ^ "Voteview | Plot Vote: 78th Congress > House > 117".
  4. ^ Hachey, Thomas E. (Winter 1973–1974). "American Profiles on Capitol Hill: A Confidential Study for the British Foreign Office in 1943" (PDF). Wisconsin Magazine of History. 57 (2): 141–153. JSTOR 4634869. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-21.
  5. ^ "Final Report on Foreign Aid of the House Select Committee on Foreign Aid" (PDF). Marshall Foundation. May 1, 1948. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  6. ^ FOREIGN RELATIONS: Doctrine's First Fruits Time, April 29, 1957
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Chairman of House Foreign Affairs Committee
1951 – 1953
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Robert B. Chiperfield
Chairman of House Foreign Affairs Committee
1955 – 1957
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 28 May 2022, at 10:50
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