Hayne, Robert Y.


1837 ALS by the South Carolina politician famed for 1829 debate with Daniel Webster, sends autograph to noted early collector Lewis J. Cist


Type: Letter
Description: (1791-1839) South Carolina lawyer, planter and politician, US Senator 1823-32, Governor 1832-34, Mayor of Charleston 1836-37. As Senator and Governor, he was a leading figure in the Nullification Crisis, and with John C. Calhoun and James Hamilton Jr., a vocal proponent of doctrines of states’ rights, compact theory and nullification; his  1830 Senate debate with Daniel Webster is considered a defining episode in the constitutional crisis which precipitated the Civil War.

Hayne practiced law in Charleston. During the War of 1812, he was Lieutenant in the Charleston Cadet Infantry, rose to Captain in the 3rd South Carolina Regiment. He later was Quartermaster General of the state militia, and by 1836, rose to major general. Hayne served in the State House 1814-18, Speaker 1818, state Attorney General 1818-22. In 1822 South Carolina’s legislature elected him to the US Senate, served March 4, 1823-Dec.13, 1832. He was Chairman of the Senate Committee on Naval Affairs 1825-32. In 1832, under Governor James Hamilton Jr., he was Chairman of South Carolina’s nullification convention. Hamilton and Hayne argued that states could “nullify” federal laws with which they did not agree. 80% of the 162 delegates voted to nullify federal tariffs of 1828 and 1832, and for the Ordinance of Secession. A temporary compromise was reached between the federal government and South Carolina in 1833.

He resigned from the Senate to accept election by the legislature as governor in 1832, serving to 1834, Mayor of Charleston 1836-37. An ardent free-trader and an uncompromising advocate of states’ rights, he consistently argued that slavery was a domestic institution and should be dealt with only by individual states. Objecting to any federal effort to curtail slavery, Hayne 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.” He opposed protectionist federal tariff bills of 1824, 1828, & 1832. In 1828, in response to Massachusetts’ changing economic landscape (shift from farming towards mass production in factories), Daniel Webster backed a bill to increase tariffs on imported goods, a measure that southern politicians opposed. Hayne spoke in opposition to the bill, Webster responded, and the ensuing series of back-and-forth Senate speeches became known as the Webster-Hayne Debates. The “Foot Resolution,” introduced Dec. 29, 1829 by Connecticut Senator Samuel A. Foot, called for a federal government study into restricting the sale of public lands to those lands already surveyed and available for sale, which would prevent states from conducting further land sales. Whether the federal government had the authority to take this action called into question the relationship between the powers of the federal government and the individual states. Hayne contended that the US Constitution was only a compact between the US government and the states, and that any state could nullify any federal law which it considered to be in contradiction. Webster argued for supremacy of the federal government and the Constitution, and against nullification and secession. He concluded his Second Reply to Hayne with the memorable phrase: “Liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable.”

9 ¾ x 7 ¾ ALS while Mayor of Charleston (1st chief executive officer of Charleston known as Mayor),  February 7 1837, to Lewis J. Cist, Cincinnati, Ohio, is honored to forward a requested autograph. With integral address leaf in Hayne’s hand, plus steel engraved portrait.

Lewis Jacob Cist (1818-1885) American banker and government official in St. Louis, poet, one of foremost early collectors of autographs. A collection of his poetry was published as Trifles in Verse: A Collection of Fugitive Poems in 1845. He wrote “A Chapter on Autography – Part II” published in Graham’s Magazine in December 1841. He also collected autographs for the U.S. Sanitary Fairs. His extensive collection was auctioned off in New York in the 1880s and some later auctions in the 1890s and early 1900s.

Condition:  Very Good, mail folds

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