Gov. Arnoldus Vanderhorst II

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Arnoldus VanderHorst, II

Birthdate: (66)
Birthplace: Christ Church Parish, South Carolina
Death: January 29, 1815 (66)
Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Place of Burial: Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Arnoldus Vanderhorst and Elizabeth VanderHorst
Husband of Elizabeth Vanderhorst
Father of Arnold Vanderhost; John S. Vanderhost; Jane Dawson; Elias Vanderhost; Harriett Horry and 2 others
Brother of Elias Vanderhorst and Mary Barksdale

Occupation: soldier, governor, planter, (more) Served with Marion's Brigade during the Revolution, and was Governor of South Carolina 1792-94;
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Gov. Arnoldus Vanderhorst II

Additional Curator's Notes:

Arnoldus Vanderhorst II, Governor of South Carolina, DID serve in the American Revolution but does NOT have a DAR ancestor number. His father, Arnoldus I, does have a patriot number ( A117641). Please do not confuse the father and the son. Maria Edmonds-Zediker, Volunteer Curator, January 30, 2014.


South Carolina Governor. He was born in Christ Church Parish, across the Cooper River from Charleston. Prior to his public service he was a planter until the start of the Revolution. He was an officer in the command of General Francis Marion in the Revolution. After the Revolution he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representative serving from 1776 to 1780, then in the South Carolina Senate from 1780 to 1786. He was mayor of Charleston when George Washington visited in 1791 and in December of 1794 he was elected Governor of the State and served until 1796. After his term as Governor he was elected again to the South Carolina House and served until 1799.


Arnoldus Vanderhorst (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

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.

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 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.

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Gov. Arnoldus Vanderhorst II's Timeline

Charleston, SC, USA
March 21, 1748
Christ Church Parish, South Carolina
Age 26
Revolutionary War
April 6, 1776
Age 28
South Carolina
Age 27
South Carolina
November 2, 1778
Age 30
Age 32
Age 36
Charleston, South Carolina