|38th Governor of South Carolina|
December 17, 1794 – December 8, 1796
|Preceded by||William Moultrie|
|Succeeded by||Charles Pinckney|
|Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina|
1790 – 1792
|Preceded by||Thomas Jones|
|Succeeded by||John Huger|
|Member of the South Carolina Senate from St. Phillip and St. Michael Parishes|
1780 – 1786
|Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from St. Phillip and St. Michael Parishes|
1778 – 1780
|Member of the South Carolina General Assembly from St. Phillip and St. Michael Parishes|
1776 – 1778
March 21, 1748|
Christ Church Parish, South Carolina
|Died||January 29, 1815
Kiawah Island, South Carolina
|Resting place||St. Michael's Churchyard, Charleston, South Carolina|
Early life and career
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.
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.
After leaving the governorship in 1796, he returned to his plantation on Kiawah Island where he 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.
- Wallace, David Duncan (1951). South Carolina: A Short History. University of North Carolina Press. pp. 347, 415.
|Governor of South Carolina
1794 – 1796