Known as a great champion of unpopular causes, James Louis Petigru is best remembered for his opposition to Secession and his support of the Federal Union. This ability was nurtured at an early age at the Willington Academy in his native Abbeville District, and later at South Carolina College in Columbia. He was an intense opponent of the concept of nullification, which would allow states to ignore federal laws—an unpopular position to take at the time, but one that has prevailed over time. His public service included serving as South Carolina Attorney General from 1822 until 1830. Admired throughout the country, he has been labeled "the greatest private citizen South Carolina ever produced."