King, William Rufus Devane, 1786–1853, U.S. Senator from Alabama (1819–44, 1848–52), b. Sampson co., N.C. A Democratic Congressman from North Carolina (1811–16), he settled (1818) in Alabama and became one of its first Senators. King resigned in 1844 to become minister to France; he successfully urged France to refrain from joining England in a protest against U.S. annexation of Texas. Later he again entered (1848) the Senate. Elected (1852) Vice President under Franklin Pierce, he died in Alabama soon after taking the oath of office.