Arnoldus Vanderhorst

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Arnoldus Vanderhorst
Arnoldus Vanderhorst (South Carolina Governor).jpg
1856 portrait by Henry Breintnall Bounetheau
38th Governor of South Carolina
In office
December 17, 1794 December 8, 1796
Lieutenant Lewis Morris
Preceded by William Moultrie
Succeeded by Charles Pinckney
Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina
In office
1790 1792
Preceded byThomas Jones
Succeeded byJohn Huger
In office
1785 1786
Preceded byRichard Hutson
Succeeded byJohn Faucheraud Grimke
Member of the South Carolina Senate from Christ Church Parish
In office
August 31, 1779 January 1, 1787
Member of the South Carolina General Assembly from St. Phillip's and St. Michael's Parish
In office
March 25, 1776 October 17, 1778
Personal details
Born(1748-03-21)March 21, 1748
Christ Church Parish, South Carolina
DiedJanuary 29, 1815(1815-01-29) (aged 66)
Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Resting placeSt. Michael's Churchyard, Charleston, South Carolina
Profession planter

Arnoldus Vanderhorst ( /vænˈdrɑːs/ ; March 21, 1748 January 29, 1815) was a general of the South Carolina militia during the Revolutionary War and the 38th Governor of South Carolina from 1794 to 1796.


Early life and career

36 Meeting Street, Charleston, ca. 1740 is associated with many eminent South Carolina family names: DeSaussure, Vanderhorst, Brunch, Rivers, Kershaw and Pelzer 36 Meeting Street.jpg
36 Meeting Street, Charleston, ca. 1740 is associated with many eminent South Carolina family names: DeSaussure, Vanderhorst, Brunch, Rivers, Kershaw and Pelzer

Born in Christ Church Parish, Vanderhorst took up planting at his plantation on the eastern half of Kiawah Island in the Lowcountry. He participated in the Revolutionary War as an officer under the command of Francis Marion. During the war, he also served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1776 to 1780 and in the South Carolina Senate from 1780 to 1786. After his service in the state Senate, Vanderhorst was elected mayor of Charleston for two terms. He was elected mayor of Charleston, South Carolina, on September 12, 1785. [1]

As governor

In 1794, he was elected by the General Assembly as a Federalist to be Governor of South Carolina. During his administration, Vanderhorst pressed the legislature for the revision of the criminal code because the sentences were so harsh that jurors would grant acquittal. In addition, he advocated for a prison system similar to that of the state of Pennsylvania instead of the state jails that "were of medieval barbarity."

Later life

After leaving the governorship in 1796, he returned to his plantation on Kiawah Island where the people he enslaved cultivated sea island cotton. Vanderhorst died on January 29, 1815, and he was buried at the St. Michael's churchyard in Charleston. He also proposed the need for a state penitentiary. Later the state penitentiary named Central Correction Institution that was open until 1994.


Papers of the Vanderhorst family are held at the South Carolina Historical Society [2] and Bristol Archives. [3]

See also

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  1. "Charleston, September 15". State Gazette of South-Carolina. September 15, 1785. p. 2. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  2. "Catalogue of the Vanderhorst family papers, 1689-1942" (PDF). South Carolina Historical Society. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 April 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  3. "Catalogue of the Vanderhorst papers". Bristol Record Office . Retrieved 11 April 2014.
Political offices
Preceded by
Richard Hutson
Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina
Succeeded by
John Faucheraud Grimké
Preceded by
Thomas Jones
Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina
Succeeded by
John Huger
Preceded by
William Moultrie
Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Charles Pinckney