Robert Y. Hayne (1791-1839) served as governor of South Carolina from 1832-1834. Hayne was born on his family's plantation, Pon Pon, in St. Paul's Parish. After studying law under Langdon Cheves, Hayne took over his practice when Cheves was elected to the U.S. Congress. In 1814, Hayne was elected to the state House of Representatives and later became Speaker. He served as the Attorney General of South Carolina from 1818 until 1822. Elected a U.S. Senator in 1824, Hayne gained recognition as an able orator and debater. He engaged in a noted debate with Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts on the nature of the Union (see The Webster-Hayne Debate), in which he supported states' rights. Hayne was also a member of the South Carolina convention which adopted a nullification ordinance against United States tariff legislation in 1832. Elected governor in that same year, he had to deal with the Nullification Crisis during his tenure in office. He was prepared to oppose the enforcement of Federal tariff laws in South Carolina by military force, but the crisis was avoided by a modification of the United States tariff schedules in 1833. Hayne also presided over the convention's repeal of the nullification ordinance. He served as Mayor of Charleston from 1835 until 1837, and was president of the Louisville, Cincinnati and Charleston Railroad from 1836 until his death in 1839.
Courtesy of the South Caroliniana Library.