Image: Robert Hayne

Robert Young Hayne (1791-1839)

Robert Young Hayne (1791-1839), U.S. senator, born in Colleton District (now Charleston County), South Carolina, who was the leading spokesman of his time for states` rights. A lawyer, Hayne was a state legislator and a state attorney general before becoming a U.S. senator in 1823. As an advocate of free trade, he vigorously opposed the federal protective tariff laws of 1824 and 1828, and in 1830, debating Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, he upheld Vice President John Calhoun`s nullification doctrine that the states could refuse to enforce federal law. When Congress passed an even stricter tariff in 1832, Hayne and Calhoun both resigned so that Calhoun could fill Hayne`s Senate seat. Hayne was then elected (1832) governor of South Carolina and helped lead the state convention that nullified the 1832 tariff. When President Andrew Jackson threatened to enforce the tariff by force, Hayne ordered 10,000 South Carolina troops to be raised. Civil war was averted when Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky formulated a compromise. Later mayor of Charleston, Hayne worked to establish a railroad between Charleston and Cincinnati, Ohio.

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