George McDuffie was the 55th Governor of South Carolina and a member of the United States Senate. Born of modest means in Columbia County, Georgia, McDuffie's extraordinary intellect was noticed while clerking at a store in Augusta, Georgia. The Calhoun family sponsored his education at Moses Waddel's famous Willington Academy, where he established an outstanding reputation. Graduating from South Carolina College in 1813, he was admitted to the bar in 1814, and went into partnership with Eldred Simkins at Edgefield. Rising rapidly, he served in the South Carolina General Assembly in 1818–1821, and in the United States House of Representatives in 1821–1834. In 1834 he became a Major General of the South Carolina Militia. In 1821 he published a pamphlet in which strict states' rights were strongly denounced; yet in 1832 he became one of the greater nullificationists. The change seems to have been gradual, and to have been determined in part by the influence of John C. Calhoun. When, after 1824, the old Democratic-Republican party split into factions, he followed Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren in opposing the Panama Congress and the policy of making Federal appropriations for internal improvements. He did not hesitate, however, to differ from Jackson on the two chief issues of his administration: the Bank and nullification.