Secessionist Robert Barnwell Rhett Sr was born December 21st 1800.
Robert Barnwell Rhett, who’s last name was Smith, was born in Beaufort, South Carolina on December 21st 1800 the son of James and Marianna Smith. He changed his last name after entering public life, using the surname of his colonial ancestor Colonel William Rhett. He studied law and in 1826 became a member of the South Carolina legislature representing the St Bartholomew Parish. In 1832 Rhett became the South Carolina Attorney General. Then from 1837 to 1849 he was the United States Representative for South Carolina and United States Senator from 1850 to 1852.
Rhett’s views were extremely pro-southern. He was one of the fire-eaters at the Nashville Convention in 1850, his plan being the secession of the whole south. In 1860 Rhett was a member of the South Carolina Secession Convention. He was the chairman of the committee for the Confederate Constitution at the Montgomery Convention, when they met to organize a government for the seceding states. Rhett was elected a member of the lower house of the Confederate Congress, but when he received no other higher office, whet back to South Carolina.
Following the war Rhett settled in Louisiana. He died in St James Parish Louisiana September 14th 1876 and is buried in the Magnolia cemetery in Charleston South Carolina.