James Lonis Petigru, an American lawyer, born in Abbeville district, S. 0., about 1789, died in Charleston, S. C, March 9, 1863. He graduated at the South Carolina college in 1809, a few years later was admitted to the bar, and practised in the rural districts, and subsequently in Charleston. From 1822 to 1830 he was attorney general of the state. During the nullification troubles of 1830-'32 he was one of the leaders of the " union and state rights" party, and on the defeat of his party, from having been one of the most popular men in the state, he became very unpopular. He nevertheless held the respect of the community, and maintained his position as a leader at the bar. Subsequently he was for a brief period district attorney of the United States, at a time when such a position subjected him to public odium. Still later he served in the state legislature, and in 1861 was a commissioner for codifying the laws and statutes of South Carolina. He opposed almost alone the secession movement in South Carolina in 1860, and adhered to' his union principles till his death.
He was president of the South Carolina historical society, and published a " Semi-Centennial Oration " delivered at the South Carolina college (1855), and an " Address before the South Carolina Historical Society" (1858). His biography has been written by W. J. Grayson (12mo, 1866).