The Father of Secession

Robert Barnwell Rhett

Ask the right person and they’ll say Robert Barnwell Rhett is the indisputable father of Secession. Ask the wrong person and they’ll say, “Who is Robert Barnwell Rhett?”

— Beaufort joke

Photo credit: Robert Barnwell Rhett — member of the Confederate House of Representatives from South Carolina. Clark, Charleston (photographer) 1861.  Library of Congress from Frank Leslie’s illustrated newspaper, v. 11, no. 272 (1861 February 9), p. 188


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