- James M. Clifton
Heyward, Nathaniel (18 January 1766–10 April 1851), planter and legislator, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of Daniel Heyward, a planter, and Jane Elizabeth Gignilliat. As a boy Heyward served as a powder monkey in the Charleston Battery of Artillery during the American Revolution. His formal education consisted only of academy training. Coming of age, he traveled for a year in Europe and returned home to settle down to the life of a rice planter. As a younger son, he inherited only a few small inland swamp tracts from his father, who had many thousands of acres of land and 1,000 slaves. Heyward’s acres were subject to unwanted flooding, and it took the loss of only one crop to convince him that the future of rice culture lay in the tidal swamps then being developed. Tidal swamps had two advantages over inland swamps: tidal swamps were not subject to unwanted flooding, and more important, they had ample water to kill most of the grass and weeds....