Robert Young Hayne

24th Governor of the State of South Carolina 1832 to 1834

Date Born: November 10, 1791

Date Died: September 24, 1839

Place Born: St. Paul's Parish, SC

Place Buried: St. Michael's Churchyard in Charleston, SC

Residence: Charleston, SC

Occupation: Lawyer, Captain of Charleston Cadet Infantry


Attended private schools: studied law

South Carolina House of Representatives: 1814-1818

Attorney General of South Carolina: 1818-1822

US Senate: 1822-1832

Governor of South Carolina: 1832-1834

Intendant (Mayor) of Charleston, South Carolina, 1836-1837


Robert Young Hayne, born on November 10, 1791 in St. Paul's Parish of the Beaufort District, was the son of William Hayne and Elizabeth (Peronneau) Hayne. He was also the grand-nephew of noted Revolutionary War Patriot, Colonel Isaac Hayne, who was executed by the British on August 4, 1871.

His early years were spent in Beaufort, but in 1809 he was sent to Charleston to attend private schools. He read law (1808-1812) in the offices of Langdon Cheves, Amos B. Northrop, and Benjamin Elliott. He was admitted to the South Carolina bar on November 2, 1812, and he was a law partner of Benjamin Elliott for several years.

Public service began during the War of 1812. He enlisted in the 3rd Regiment of State Troops and served as a Lieutenant in the Charleston Cadet Infantry then as a Captain in the Charleston Cadet Riflemen (1814).

Robert Young Hayne married Frances Henrietta, daughter of Charles Pinckney and Mary Eleanor (Laurens) Pinckney on November 3, 1813, and they had three children. She died on October 8, 1818. He married a second time, to Rebecca Brewton, daughter of William Alston and Mary (Brewton) Motte Alston, on May 31, 1820, and they had two sons.

In 1814, he was first elected to represent St. Philip's & St. Michael's Parish in the House of Representatives of the:
- 21st General Assembly that met from 1814-1815
- 22nd General Assembly that met from 1816-1817
- 23rd General Assembly that met from 1818-1819

In the latter assembly, he was elected as Speaker of the House. But, he was soon thereafter elected on December 18, 1818 as the next Attorney General for South Carolina and he had to give up his seat in the House and as Speaker of the House. He declined a presidential appointment of U.S. District Attorney in 1820. He served as the Attorney General until 1822.

In December of 1822, the South Carolina legislature elected him to the U.S. Senate, serving in the 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd Congresses.

On December 10, 1832, Robert Young Hayne was elected as the next governor of South Carolina, and he resigned from the U.S. Senate on December 18, 1832. During his administration, he raised a large brigade of militiamen to defend South Carolina in case the Federal government chose to force the Nullification issue.

In 1836, he was elected as Intendant (mayor) of Charleston. In 1837, he became the President of the Louisville, Cincinnati , and Charleston Railroad Company (LC&C RR). Although unsuccessful, Hayne worked until his death to establish a railroad connection between the South and the West.

Other offices he held during his life were:
- Quartermaster General (1814-1816)
- Colonel commanding the 17th Regiment (1822-1828)
- Brigadier General commanding the 4th Brigade (1828-1829)
- Major General commanding the 2nd Division (1830-1836)
- Member of the Charleston Library Society (1815-1839)
- Commissioner to Purchase a Lot to Enlarge the Charleston Arsenal (1817)
- Ex Officio (1818, 1832-1834) and Elective (1834-1839) Trustee of the South Carolina College
- Director of the Charleston Bridge Company (1819)
- Solicitor for the Office of Discount and Deposit in Charleston (1819-1824)
- Director of the Union Insurance Company (1820-1824)
- Trustee for the College of Charleston (1828-1839)
- Commissioner to Survey the best route between Charleston and Cincinnati (1835)
- Director of the Bank of Charleston (1836)

Robert Young Hayne died in late September of 1839 in Asheville, North Carolina, where he was attending a meeting on the LC&C RR. He was buried in St. Michael's Churchyard in Charleston.


Robert Young Hayne (brother of Arthur Peronneau Hayne), a U.S. Senator from South Carolina; born on Pon Pon Plantation, St. Paul’s Parish, Colleton District, SC, November 10, 1791; attended private schools in Charleston; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1812 and commenced practice in Charleston, SC; served in the War of 1812, becoming captain of the Charleston Cadet Riflemen in 1814; appointed Quartermaster General of the State in December 1814; member, State House of Representatives 1814-1818, and served as Speaker in 1818; State Attorney General 1818-1822; elected to the U.S. Senate in 1822; reelected in 1828 as a Jacksonian and served from March 4, 1823, to December 13, 1832, when he resigned to become Governor of South Carolina; participated in January and February 1830 in a notable exchange with Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts upon the principles of the Constitution, the authority of the general government, and the rights of the states; Chairman, Committee on Naval Affairs (Nineteenth through Twenty-second Congresses); member of the South Carolina Nullification Convention in 1832; Governor of South Carolina 1832-1834; Intendant (mayor) of Charleston 1835-1837; promoter and President of the Louisville, Cincinnati & Charleston Railroad 1836-1839; died in Asheville, NC, September 24, 1839; interment in St. Michael’s Churchyard, Charleston, SC.

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