Father of Secession - Robert Barnwell Rhett


Brigadier General
Forum Host
Apr 11, 2016
Upstate South Carolina
Robert Barnwell Rhett:

Born: December 21, 1800

Birthplace: Beaufort South Carolina

Father: James Harvey Smith 1761 – 1835

Mother: Marianna Barnwell Gough 1773 – 1837

1st Wife: Elizabeth Washington Burnett 1809 – 1852

(Buried: Magnolia Cemetery Charleston South Carolina)

Married: February 21, 1827 in Beaufort County South Carolina

2nd Wife: Katherine Herbert 1821 – 1882

(Buried: Magnolia Cemetery Charleston South Carolina)

Married: May 15, 1854 in New York City New York


Colonel Robert Barnwell Rhett Jr. 1828 – 1905

(Buried: Maple Hill Cemetery Huntsville Alabama)

Colonel Alfred Moore Rhett 1829 – 1889

(Buried: Magnolia Cemetery Charleston South Carolina)

Major Andrew Burnet Rhett 1833 – 1879

(Buried: Magnolia Cemetery Charleston South Carolina)

Edmund Rhett 1835 – 1871

(Buried: Magnolia Cemetery Charleston South Carolina)

Lt. Robert Woodward Rhett 1838 – 1862

(Buried: Magnolia Cemetery Charleston South Carolina)

Elise Rhett Lewis 1841 – 1927

(Buried: Magnolia Cemetery Charleston South Carolina)

Sarah Taylor Rhett Roman 1844 – 1921

(Buried: Elmwood Memorial Gardens Columbia South Carolina)

Claudine Rhett 1846 – 1929

(Buried: Magnolia Cemetery Charleston South Carolina)

Occupation before War:

Attorney in Beaufort South Carolina

1826 – 1832: South Carolina State Representative

1832 – 1837: South Carolina State Attorney General

1837 – 1849: U.S. Congressman from South Carolina

1844: Leader of the Blufton Movement to return nullification

1850 – 1852: United States Senator from South Carolina

Advocate for Secession in opposition to Compromise of 1850

1850: Member of Nashville Tennessee Convention

1850: Helped establish Southern National Party

Civil War Career:

1860: Delegate to South Carolina State Secession Convention

1861 – 1862: Deputy to Confederate States Congress

Chairman of Committee to report Confederate Constitution

1862 – 1865: Criticized war policies of President Jefferson Davis

Occupation after War:

Refused to apply for Presidential Pardon

1868: Delegate to Democratic Party National Convention

Died: September 14, 1876

Place of Death: St. James Parish Louisiana

Cause of Death: Weakness caused from Skin Cancer

Age at time of Death: 75 years old

Burial Place: Magnolia Cemetery Charleston South Carolina


Rhett 1.jpg

Rhett 2.gif

Aug 4, 2019
When you look upon this Man's face you see one, who as one of the leading southern Fire Eaters militants, who played a very significant role that lead to the deaths of over 600,000 Americans.


First Sergeant
Aug 20, 2018
Correct me if I’m mistaken, but didn’t Rhett do his level best to talk Confederate high command out of firing on Sumpter?