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motion was made to adjourn to Charleston, owing to the prevalence of small-pox at Columbia.
Mr. Miles spoke earnestly, and at some length, against removal to any other point, until the ordinance of secession was passed; he says, "I think every question is subsidiary to this great and important matter of withdrawing the State of South Carolina from the Union; such a step, should we previously adjourn, would disconcert our friends and gladden our enemies. We would be sneered at. It would be asked on all sides, Is this the chivalry of South Carolina? They are prepared to face the world, but they run away from the small-pox. I am just from Washington, where I have been in continual conference with our friends. The last thing urged on me by our friends from the slave States was, take South Carolina out of the Union the instant you can. Now, Sir, when the news reaches Washington that we met here, that a panic arose about a few cases of small-pox in the city, and that we forthwith scampered off to Charleston, the effect would be ludicrous."
Mr. Carroll recommended that the delegates be vaccinated. If every member of the convention would resort to vaccination, there would be no danger, and in ten days time nothing would be heard of the small-pox. Yet, notwithstanding these arguments, the motion was carried, and they adjourned to Charleston.*
The members of the convention and of the legislature on their arrival in Charleston were received with great rejoicing. A salute of fifteen guns was fired, for the fifteen slave States, by the Marion Artillery. A battalion of the State Cadets were also present. Major Stevens, commanding the Cadets, addressed President Jamison of the
*We perfectly agree with Mr. Miles in thinking the "effect would be ludicrous," and especially with Mr. Carroll. The idea of a "gallant band " of one hundred and sixty-nine men, going to be vaccinated, headed by the aforesaid gentleman, it would be ludicrous indeed.
convention, saying that he had brought the young Carolinians, as represented by the Cadets, to do honor to the sovereignty of the State. General Jamison returned his acknowledgments, and said "the convention comes prepared to sign the ordinance which shall make the State free and independent.”
The convention assembled at Institute Hall. There were about one hundred and fifty delegates and about seven hundred spectators.
The bill for arming the State of North Carolina passed the Senate at Raleigh, by a vote of 41 to 3.
December 19. Committee appointed to draft a secession ordinance: Messrs. John A. Ingliss, R. Barnwell Rhett, James Chesnut, Jr., James L. Orr, William Gregg, Mr. Duncan, and William M. Hutson.
December 20. Mr. Ingliss reported the following ordinance:
"We, the people of South Carolina, in convention assembled, do declare and ordain that the ordinance adopted by us in convention on the 23d of May, 1788, whereby the Constitution of the United States was ratified, and all acts and parts of acts passed by the general assembly of this State, ratifying amendments to said Constitution, are hereby repealed; and the union now existing between South Carolina and other States, under the name of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved."
The secession ordinance passed unanimously, one hundred and sixty-nine members being present, at 14 P. M. The ordinance was ordered to be engrossed on parchment, signed by the members, and placed in the archives of the State at Institute Hall.
The news spread rapidly on the street, and a crowd collected, and there was immense cheering.
The news of the secession of South Carolina created intense excitement and rejoicing in Georgia and Alabama. At a meeting of the city council of Augusta, Ga., in
anticipation" of the passage of the secession ordinance by South Carolina, it was resolved by the city council of Augusta, that the person having in charge the bell commonly known as "Big Steve," be instructed to have said bell struck or rung one hundred times, as soon as the news is received that the State of South Carolina has resumed her sovereignty.
December 21. In Wilmington, N. C., one hundred guns were fired in honor of the secession of South Carolina.
At Portsmouth, Va., fifteen guns were fired for the fifteen slave States.
The "minute-men" of Norfolk, Va., met on the Stone Bridge, at one o'clock on the 21st, and fired a salute of fifteen guns in honor of South Carolina, and hoisted the "Palmetto flag." John Tyler, son of Ex-President Tyler, after the firing had ceased, mounted the gun and delivered a strong secession speech. Many ladies of the city congregated to witness the salute, and joined in by waving handkerchiefs. The following telegram was sent over the wires to the president of the Charleston convention :
"The minute-men' of Norfolk send greeting to South Carolina. With the glorious Palmetto flag thrown to the breeze, and floating over our heads, we have just fired fifteen guns in honor of the first step taken by that gallant State, and emblematic, we hope, of coming events. All honor and glory to the game-cock of the South.
"CHARLES HARRIS, Chief of Minute-Men of Norfolk."
At Macon, Ga., the people were jubilant over the secession of South Carolina. There was a grand procession of "minute-men," parading, and bonfires, bells ringing, cannon firing, and streets illuminated; all served to heighten the excitement and manifest the joy of the people.
At Montgomery one hundred guns were fired by order of Governor Moore, in honor of the secession of South Carolina.
At Pensacola the news was greeted with immense enthusiasm. One hundred guns were fired in honor of the event.
A dispatch from Mobile, Dec. 21, says:
"The secession of South Carolina was celebrated here, by the firing, this afternoon, of a hundred guns, the cheers of the people, and a military parade. There is great rejoicing. The bells are ringing merrily, and the people are out in the streets by hundreds, testifying their joy at the triumph of secession. Many impromptu speeches are being made, and the greatest excitement everywhere exists."
There was an immense secession meeting at night, and "illuminations" in honor of South Carolina.
In New Orleans there was a general demonstration of joy consequent upon the secession of South Carolina. One hundred guns were fired, and the "Pelican flag" unfurled. Impromptu speeches were made by many of the leading citizens.
On the 21st, in Charleston, there was a grand procession of "minute-men," to celebrate the passage of the secession ordinance. Several thousand citizens, strangers, firemen, and military were in line, with music, banners, transparencies, and reflectors. The procession formed in front of Secession Hall, and proceeded to the Mills House, to serenade Governor Pickens, and subsequently to Wm. D. Porcher, President of the Senate, General Simmons, Speaker of the House, General Jamison, President of the Convention, and Mayor Macbeth, who acknowledged their thanks and compliments. The flag borne in front of the procession was that which Captain Berry, of the steamship Columbia, hoisted off Governor's Island. The city was alive with pleasurable excitement,
and a number of residences, newspaper establishments, and other public buildings were illuminated.
The convention met at noon. Prayer was offered, in the course of which God was invoked to unite the people of the South in the formation of a "Southern Confederacy," and to bless the new-born State.
Lieutenants Dazier and Hamilton, also several midshipmen, Carolinians, resigned their commissions in the navy. December 22. At Petersburg, Va., a secession pole, one hundred feet high, with the "Palmetto flag," was hoisted on the most prominent street, amid the cheers of a large crowd. The pole was sawed down the next morning before the dawn of day, by an unknown party, and the flag carried off. Great excitement prevailed in consequence.
December 24. Agreeably to the ordinance of secession, Governor Pickens issued an address, proclaiming to the world that South Carolina is and has a right to be a separate, sovereign, free, and independent State, and as such has a right to levy war, conclude peace, negotiate treaties, leagues, or covenants, and do all acts whatever that rightly appertain to a free and independent State.
An immense secession meeting was held at Ashland Hall, Norfolk, Va. Disunion speeches were delivered by Col. V. D. Grover and General John Tyler. The speakers were enthusiastically applauded. General Tyler concluded with the expression, "Let the Union go to hell," which was received with loud and repeated cheers. The Methodist Conference of South Carolina passed resolutions favoring secession.
The special commissioners appointed by the South Carolina convention to negotiate for government property, and form a treaty of amity and commerce with the United States, leave Charleston for Washington.
An immense mass meeting was held in New Orleans, to ratify the nomination of the "Southern Rights" can