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Isaac Hayne
Born (1745-09-23)September 23, 1745
Died August 4, 1781(1781-08-04) (aged 35)
Place of birth South Carolina
Place of death Charleston, South Carolina
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Rank Colonel
Battles/wars American Revolutionary War

Isaac Hayne (23 September 1745 – 4 August 1781)[1] He was one of the most prominent Americans to be executed by the British during the American War of Independence.[2]

He was not involved in the surrender of Charleston but returned and surrendered himself offering to become a British subject as long as he did not have to take up arms against the Patriots. Later in 1781 he was told he must fight. He refused and escaped to the Patriots. He then commanded an American rebel raid which captured Brigadier-General Andrew Williamson an American Loyalist. Colonel Nisbet Balfour, the British commander in Charleston during the 1781 siege of Charlestown, fearing that Williamson would he hanged as a traitor, sent a column to intercept the raiding party. The interception was successful. There was a skirmish resulting in the defeat of the raiding party, the release of Williamson and the capture of Hayne.[3]

Isaac Hayne, although a prisoner of war, was sentenced to death by hanging by the British, because in the opinion of the British court martial, he had broken his earlier parole not to take up arms against the Crown.[2] It was also thought his death would send a message to rising patriots to stop protesting, while the death of Isaac instead infuriated Charleston patriots even more.

References

  1. Wikisource-logo.svg Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1888) "Hayne, Isaac" Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography New York: D. Appleton 
  2. 2.0 2.1 1781 Isaac Hayne, website of the Old Exchange Building and Provost Dungeon cites Bowden, David K. The Execution of Isaac Hayne. Lexington, South Carolina: The Sandlapper Store, 1977
  3. Frank Moore. Diary of the American Revolution: From newspapers and original documents, Volume 2, C. Scribner, 1860, pp. 447,448. Newspaper article about the capture of Williamson and Hayne from the Rivington's Gazette, August 1, 1881: "July 1.—Last Thursday night a small party of mounted rebel militia ..."

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