ROBERT YOUNG HAYNE was born in St. Paul’s Parish, Colleton District, South Carolina. After attending private schools and studying law, he was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 1812. During the War of 1812 he began as an infantry Lieutenant in the Third South Carolina Regiment and rose to the rank of Captain of the Charleston Cadet Riflemen and then Quartermaster General of South Carolina. He was a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1814 to 1818-speaker in 1818; Attorney General of South Carolina from 1818 to 1822; and a member of the U.S. Senate from 1822 until 1832, when he was elected governor by the state legislature. Hayne defended the South Carolina Nullification Ordinance that was adopted in 1832 to nullify federal tariff laws, and in response to President Andrew Jackson’s Proclamation to the People of South Carolina, he called for the state to furnish 10,000 troops to repel a federal invasion. However, a compromise solution to the tariff question was achieved that led to rescission of the Nullification Ordinance and Hayne played an important role in mitigating further factionalism in South Carolina over the nullification issue. After leaving the state house, he served as Mayor of Charleston from 1835 to 1837. He was also president of the Louisville, Cincinnati & Charleston Railroad Company and of the Knoxville, Kentucky convention that promoted the construction of a railroad linking South Carolina and the Ohio Valley. However, the Panic of 1837 made raising funds for such construction impossible.
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 National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 12. New York: James T. White & Company.