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Hayne, Robert Young

HAYNE, ROBERT YOUNG (1791-1839), American political leader, born in St Paul's parish, Colleton district, South Carolina, on the loth of November 1791. He studied law in the office of Langdon Cheves( 1 7 76-1 85 7)in Charleston, S.C., and in November 1812 was admitted to the bar there, soon obtaining a large practice. For a short time during the War of 1812 against Great Britain, he was captain in the Third South Carolina Regiment. He was a member of the lower house of the state legislature from 1814 to 1818, serving as speaker in the latter year; was attorney-general of the state from 1818 to 1822, and in 1823 was elected, as a Democrat, to the United States Senate. Here he was conspicuous as an ardent free-trader and an uncompromising advocate of " States Rights," opposed the protectionist tariff bills of 1824 and 1828, and consistently upheld the doctrine that slavery was a domestic institution and should be dealt with only by the individual states. In one of his speeches opposing the sending by the United States of representatives to the Panama Congress, he said, " The moment the federal government shall make the unhallowed attempt to interfere with the domestic concerns of the states, those states will consider themselves driven from the Union." Hayne is best remembered, however, for his great debate with Daniel Webster (q.v.) in January 1830. The debate arose over the so-called " Foote's Resolution," introduced by Senator Samuel A. Foote (1780-1846) of Connecticut, calling for the restriction of the sale of public lands to those already in the market, but was con- cerned primarily with the relation to one another and the respective powers of the federal government and the individual states, Hayne contending that the constitution was essentially a compact between the states, and the national government and the states, and that any state might, at will, nullify any federal law which it considered to be in contravention of that compact. He vigorously opposed the tariff of 1832, was a member of the South Carolina Nullification Convention of November 1832, and reported the ordinance of nullification passed by that body on the 24th of November. Resigning from the Senate, he was governor of the state from December 1832 to December 1834, and as such took a strong stand against President Jackson, though he was more conservative than many of the nullificationists in the state. He was intendant (mayor) of Charleston, S.C., from 1835 to 1837, and was president of the Louisville, Cincinnati & Charleston railway from 1837 to 1839. He died at Asheville, N.C., on the 24th of September 1839. His son, Paul Hamilton Hayne (1830-1886), was a poet of some distinction, and in 1878 published a life of his father.

See Theodore D. Jervey, Robert Y. Hayne and his Times (New York, 1909).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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