Robert Barnwell Smith (later Rhett) was born in Beaufort, South Carolina. He studied law and became involved in politics, first as a state legislator and later as attorney general of South Carolina (1832).
In 1837, his family changed its name from Smith to Rhett to honor a Revolutionary War ancestor.
Rhett's national reputation was made in the House of Representatives (1837-49) and briefly in the U.S. Senate (1850-52) where he succeeded John C. Calhoun. He was one of the vocal and confrontational “fire-eaters," strident defenders of slavery and proponents of secession; Rhett went so far as to advocate for resumption of the slave trade, an extreme position among his peers. The Charleston Mercury, run by his son, was a frequent vehicle for these extremist political views.
Rhett was such a relentless advocate of his causes that he eventually drove away many who were sympathetic to his views.
Rhett was a delegate to the South Carolina secession convention in 1860. He worked on a committee to draft a constitution for the Confederacy, but never held high office under that government. Rhett was a vocal critic of Jefferson Davis’ conduct of the war.
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South Carolina SC - Burnett Rhett Maybank - 1939-1941
... 47,882 votes 12.1% Adams 26,376 votes 6.7% Democratic Runoff – 1938 Burnet Rhett Maybank 163,947 votes 52.3% Wyndham Manning 149,368 votes 47.7% General Election – November 8, 1938 Maybank was elected without opposition, receiving 49,009 votes.
Ella Barnwell Crow - Notable Women Ancestors
Robert got a law degree from the University of Kentucky, then served in WWI where he was engaged in 2 battles, 1st, the Battle of the Marne, then was wounded at the Battle Argonne and was honorably released from service where he went to work for ...
When the express came to an end. Roberts took up mining in Virginia City, Nevada, then in Wyoming, and later near Salt Lake City. After 1870, he farmed, raised stock and opened a drug store which his son managed. By 1888, when 57, Roberts was ...