Profiles of Robert Young Hayne and George McDuffie
Two marble profiles mounted on the north elevation of the State House feature George McDuffie and Robert Young Hayne, who both served as U.S. senators and as governors of South Carolina in the decades leading up to the Civil War. Their depiction as ancient Romans suggests that their political achievements – as advocates of nullification focused mainly on strengthening the rights of slaveholders and individual states over the federal government – are timeless and just. Nationally renowned artist Henry Kirke Brown sculpted the profiles in 1859-60 as part of a larger program that would have also included allegorical depictions of the state and enslaved labor in the State House’s pediments. Brown’s pediment models were destroyed in the February 1865 burning of Columbia and the sculptures were never completed.