John Sharp Williams (July 30, 1854 – September 27, 1932) was a prominent American politician in the Democratic Party from the 1890s through the 1920s, and served as the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives from 1903 to 1908.
Williams was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but raised in Yazoo County, Mississippi, after he was orphaned during the American Civil War. After studying at five different universities (including two in Europe), he received his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1876. After a brief return to Memphis (where he married Elizabeth Dial Webb in 1877), Williams returned to Yazoo County, where from 1878 to 1893 he ran the family plantation and kept a law practice.
Elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1893, Williams soon became a leader of the Democratic minority, renowned for his speaking skill and wit. Like most Southern Democrats of the day, he was a proponent of coining silver and an opponent of high tariffs; unlike them, he refused to use race-baiting to build political popularity. In 1906 when Great Britain launched HMS Dreadnought, Congressman Williams introduced a bill to change the name of USS Michigan to USS