"R" is for Richardson, James Burchell [1770-1836]. Governor. Richardson was in his early twenties when the upland cotton boom hit South Carolina. Capitalizing on his family’s resources, he soon became one of the wealthiest planters in the state. Eventually he owned 12,000 acres and 395 slaves. In 1792 he was elected to the South Carolina House where he remained until he was elected governor in 1802. He was the first backcountry resident—indeed the first non-Charlestonian—to serve as governor. In 1803 at his urging, the General Assembly reopened the external slave trade to satisfy the demand of upcountry residents for more labor. He later represented Sumter County in both South Carolina House and Senate. James Burchell Richardson was the first of six lineal descendants of Richard Richardson to serve as governor of South Carolina.