Duncan Clinch Heyward

58th Governor of the State of South Carolina 1903 to 1907

Date Born: June 24, 1864

Date Died: January 23, 1943

Place Born: Richland District, SC

Place Buried: Elmwood Memorial Gardens, Columbia, SC

Residence: Walterboro, SC, then Richland County, SC

Occupation: Planter, Author, Businessman


Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA

University of South Carolina: Honorary degree, 1938

On November 4, 1902, Heyward was elected to his first term without opposition, receiving 31,817 votes

On November 8, 1904, Governor Heyward was re-elected without opposition, receiving 51,917 votes

Collector of Federal Internal Revenue Taxes for South Carolina: Appointed by President Woodrow Wilson, 1913

Heyward authored Seed from Madagascar


Duncan Clinch Heyward was born on June 24, 1864 in the Richland District to Edward Barnwell Heyward and Catherine Maria Clinch after his parents moved from Colleton County to avoid the Union Army during the American Civil War. His parents moved back to Colleton County after the war, but Heyward lived with his grandmother when his parents died shortly thereafter. He attended private schools in Charleston, the Cheltenham Military academy in Pennsylvania, then went toWashington and Lee University (1882-1885) in Lexington, VA, but did not graduate.

Moving back to Walterboro, in Colleton County, Duncan Clinch Heyward resumed the growing of rice on the part of the plantation he inherited from his parents. He became a member of the Knights of Pythias and served as a Captain of the Combahee Mounted Riflemen, a company in the Colleton County Militia.

On February 11, 1886, Duncan Clinch Heyward married Mary Elizabeth Campbell, daughter of Alexander D. Campbell and Esteline (Bell) Campbell of Rockridge County, VA, and they had at least four known children.

Announcing his candidacy in 1901 for the gubernatorial election of 1902, Heyward emerged as a frontrunner despite being a novice to politics. Ben Tillman did not have a favorite in the contest, but Heyward was an acceptable choice to him because Heyward favored the Dispensary. Heyward won in the runoff election against W. Jasper Talbert and became the next governor of South Carolina after running unopposed in the general election. He won a second term in 1904 and served as governor until his term expired in 1907.

After leaving office, Heyward was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913 to be the Collector of Federal Internal Revenue Taxes for South Carolina.

Heyward wrote the book Seed from Madagascar in 1937. The book provides insight to the details of rice planting in the South Carolina lowcountry, and chronicles the decline of the rice planting industry and the prominent Heyward family.

Duncan Clinch Heyward died in Columbia, on January 23, 1943 and was buried at the Elmwood Memorial Gardens in Columbia, SC.


Duncan Clinch Heyward was born in the Richland District, SC. After attending Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia from 1882 to 1885, he became one of the most successful rice growers in South Carolina. He also served as Captain of a cavalry company in Colleton County, SC. During his gubernatorial administration, the state legislature passed the Brice Act, which permitted counties to vote out the liquor dispensary system that had been established during the administration of Governor Benjamin Tillman. A two-term governor, Heyward was vocal about the lack of gubernatorial power, stating that the "governor is practically powerless where the details of the enforcement of law are concerned..." In addition, a State Department of Agriculture was established during Heyward's administration. After leaving office, Heyward was appointed Collector of Federal Internal Revenue Taxes for the District of South Carolina.

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