Born in what is now Marlboro County, South Carolina, BARNABAS KELET HENAGAN was both a planter and physician. He served as a trustee of South Carolina College from 1838 to 1840, as South Carolina Commissioner of Buildings, and as a member of the South Carolina Senate from 1834 to 1834. Elected Lieutenant Governor in 1838, he succeeded to the office of governor upon the death of Patrick Noble. During his brief gubernatorial administration, Charleston’s banks recovered sufficiently from the Panic of 1837 to resume specie payments. In addition, efforts to mend fences between those who had advocated the right of states to nullify federal laws (nullifers) and those who opposed nullification (unionists) were so successful that a unionist was elected governor. After leaving office, Henagan served as South Carolina’s Secretary of State.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The Political Graveyard