BARNWELL, Robert Woodward, (1801 - 1882)

Senate Years of Service: 1850-1850
Party: Democrat

BARNWELL, Robert Woodward, (son of Robert Barnwell), a Representative and a Senator from South Carolina; born in Beaufort, Beaufort County, S.C., August 10, 1801; attended private schools in Beaufort and Charleston, S.C., and graduated from Harvard University in 1821; studied law; admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Beaufort, S.C., in 1824; member, State house of representatives 1826-1828; elected to the Twenty-first and Twenty-second Congresses (March 4, 1829-March 3,1833); not a candidate for renomination in 1832; president of South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina) at Columbia 1835-1841, when he resigned; appointed to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Franklin H. Elmore and served from June 4 to December 8, 1850, when a successor was elected and qualified; not a candidate for election; member of the Nashville convention in 1850; commissioner to the Federal Government from South Carolina regarding the secession of that State in December 1860; delegate to the convention of the seceding States in Montgomery, Ala., his being the deciding vote in the South Carolina delegation which carried the State for Jefferson Davis and made him President of the Southern Confederacy; member of the Confederate States Senate 1861-1865; chairman of the faculty of the University of South Carolina 1866-1873; conducted a private girls school in Columbia, S.C.; died in Columbia, Richland County, S.C., November 5, 1882; interment in St. Helena's Churchyard, Beaufort, S.C.


Bibliography

American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Barnwell, John, ed. “‘In the Hands of Compromisers’: Letters of Robert W. Barnwell to James H. Hammond.” Civil War History 29 (June 1983): 154-68; Barnwell, John, ed. “Hamlet to Hotspur: Letters of Robert Woodward Barnwell to Robert Barnwell Rhett.” South Carolina Historical Magazine 77 (October 1976): 236-37, 247.