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SIGNING THE ORDINANCE OF SECESSION.
The telegraph instantly sent its swift messages with the intelligence to every accessible part of the Republic; and within twenty-four hours after the passage of the ordinance, the nation was profoundly moved by this open revolutionary act. Three days afterward, a railway train came in from Savannah with twenty delegates from an organization there, known as the "Sons of the South." They represented, they said, "three hundred and fifty gentlemen in Georgia," and were authorized to offer their services to the Governor of South Carolina, to aid in "maintaining her noble and independent position." They brought with them the banner of their association, which was white, with the device of a Palmetto-tree, having its trunk entwined by a rattle-snake; also, five stars and a crescent, and the words, "SEPARATE STATE ACTION."
At a quarter before four o'clock the Convention took a recess, and while leaving St. Andrew's Hall and going in irregular procession through Broad Street, to dinner, they were cheered by the populace, and the chimes of St. Michael's Protestant Episcopal Church' pealed forth "Auld Lang Syne" and other airs. seven o'clock they reassembled in the great hall of the South Carolina Institute, after
ward known as "Secession Hall," for the purpose of signing the
ordinance, which, in the mean time, had been engrossed on a sheet of parchment twentyfive by thirty-three inches in size, with the great seal of South Carolina attached. The Governor and his Council, and both branches of the Legislature were present,
and the remainder of the hall not occupied by the Convention and those State officials, was crowded densely with the men and women of Charleston. Back of the President's chair was suspended a banner, a copy of which, in miniature, is given on the next page. contemplation of the excited multitude. which sat the President stood a real Palmetto-tree, that had been brought in for the occasion.
It was a significant objet for the
1 St. Michael's is one of the oldest, if not the oldest Church in Charleston, and the bells chimed for the unholy purpose mentioned in the text have interesting historical associations. When an attack on Charleston was expected, in 1776, the church spire, which was white, and was visible from some distance at sea, was painted black, that the enemy might not see it as a beacon. It was a mistake, for it was then more prominent than ever against a light gray sky. When the British finally took possession of the city, in the spring of 1780, the bells of St. Michael's were sent to London as spoils of victory. The merchants of that city purchased them, and returned them to the church, where they chimed and chimed, until the conspirators now believed they had sounded the death-knell of the Union, which its vestry, in 1776, zealously assisted to create. St. Michael's spire was the target for General Gillmore's great cannon, called "The Swamp Angel," during his long siege of Charleston, in the latter years of the civil war. It was afterward found that a shell from the "Angel" had gone through the church, and, striking the tablet of the Commandments on the wall, effaced every one of them but these:-Thou shalt not steal" "Thou shalt not commit adultery." So declared a writer in the New York Independent, who professed to have been an eye-witness of the effects of the shell.
* See page 19.
* This banner is composed of cotton cloth, with devices painted in water-colors, by a Charleston artist named Alexander. The base of the design is a mass of broken and disordered blocks of stone, on each of which are the name and arms of a Free-labor State. Rising from this mass are seen two columns of perfect and symmetrical blocks of stone, connected by an arch of the same material, on each of which, fifteen in number, are seen the name and coat-of-arms of a Slave-labor State. South Carolina forms the key-stone of the arch, on which stands Powers' statue of Calhoun leaning upon the trunk of a Palmetto-tree, and displaying, to spectators, a scroll, on
THE BANNER OF THE CONVENTION.
The ceremony of signing the ordinance commenced at the appointed hour. "The scene was one profoundly grand and impressive," said the Charleston Mercury, the next morning. "There were a people assembled
through their highest representatives-men, most of them, upon whose heads the snows of sixty winters had been shed-patriarchs in age-dignitaries of the land-the high-priests of the Church of Christ-reverend statesmen
which are the words, Truth, Justice, and the Constitution." On one side of Calhoun is an allegorical figure of Faith, and, on the other side, of Hope. Beyond each of these is the figure of a North American Indian armed with a rifle. In the space formed by the two columns and the arch, is the device on the seal and flag of South Carolina, namely, a Palmetto-tree with a rattlesnake coiled around its trunk, and at its base a park of cannon, and some emblems of the State commerce. On a scroll fluttering from the body of the tree are the words,
THE SIGNERS OF THE ORDINANCE.
and the wise judges of the law. In the midst of deep silence, an old man, with bowed form and hair as white as snow, the Rev. Dr. Bachman, advanced forward with upraised hands, in prayer to Almighty God for His blessing and favor on this great act of His people about to be consummated. The whole assembly at once rose to its feet, and, with hats off, listened to the touching and eloquent appeal to the All-wise Disposer of events."
At the conclusion of the ceremonies, when the signatures had all been affixed by the members, whose names were called in the order of their districts,' the President of the Convention (Jamison) stepped forward, exhibited
"Southern Republic." Over the whole design, on the segment of a circle, are fifteen stars, the then number of Slave-labor States. Underneath all, in large letters, are the words, BUILT FROM THE RUINS.
This picture, painted for the South Carolina Convention, and under the direction of its leaders, is a remarkable testimony concerning the real intentions of the conspirators at the beginning, which they continually attempted to conceal beneath the mantle of hypocrisy. It was designed and painted before any ordinance of secession had been adopted, or any convention for the purpose had been held in any State excepting South Carolina, and yet it foreshadows their grand plan, well understood by the conspirators in all of the Slave-labor States, to lay the Republic in ruins, and upon those ruins to construct an empire whose“ corner-stone" should be NEGRO LABORERS IN PERPETUAL AND HOPELESS SLAVERY. It was their intention to cast down and break in pieces the Free-labor States, and build the new structure wholly of Slave-labor States, most of which were known to be, at that time, hostile to the disunion schemes of the South Carolina politicians. The egotism and arrogance of these politicians are most conspicuously shown in making South Carolina not only the key-stone of the arch, with its revered Calhoun as the surmounting figure-in heraldic language, the symbolizing crest of the device-but in giving as the prominent feature of the affair the palmetto, snake, &c., which are the chosen insignia of the power of the State. It said plainly to the fifteen Slave-labor States, "South Carolina is to be the head and heart of the new Confederacy; the Dictator and Umpire." The banner was intended as a menace and a prophecy. How the events of four succeeding years rebuked the arrogant false prophets! Most of the Slave-labor States were in ruins, and South Carolina, that was to be the key-stone of the new and magnificent structure, was the weakest and most absolutely ruined of all. This banner is now (1865) in the possession of John S. H. Fogg, M. D., of Boston. It was presented by the painter to John F. Kennard, of Charleston, who, after the attack on Fort Sumter, in April, 1861, sent it to Dr. Fogg, by the hands of Mrs. Fogg, who was then visiting in Charleston. I am indebted to Dr. Fogg for a sketch of the banner, kindly made for my use by J. M. Church, of Boston.
The signatures were written in five columns, and in the following order:
Thomas Chiles Perrin.
J. H. Wilson.
J. P. Reed.
R. S. Simpson.
W. Pinckney Shingler.
John M. Timmons
Francis Hugh Wardlaw.
"D. F. JAMISON, Delegate from Barnwell, and President of the Convention.
R. G. M. Danovant,
James C. Furman.
R. L Crawford.
W. C. Caruthers.
Wm. W. Harllee.
A. W. Bethen.
E. W. Goodwin.
Thomas Worth Glover.
Attest, BENJAMIN F. AETHUE, Clerk of the Convention."
John M. Shingler.
R. G. Davant.
E M. Seabrook.
John J. Wannamaker.
B. II. Ratledge.
Francis I. Porcher.
T. L Gourdin.
John S. Palmer.
John S. O'Hear.
John G. Landrum,
Benjamin F. Kilgore.
H. D. Green.
Mathew P. Mayes.
Thomas Reese English, Sr.
J. M. Gadberry.
DEBATES IN THE CONVENTION.
the instrument to the people, read it, and then said, "The Ordinance of Secession has been signed and ratified, and I proclaim the State of South Carolina an Independent Commonwealth." He then handed it to the Secretary of State, to be placed for preservation in the archives of South Carolina, at Columbia. A great shout of exultation went up from the multitude, and at a little after nine o'clock the Convention adjourned until the next day. The audience then despoiled the two Palmetto-trees at the platform of their foliage, every leaf of which was borne away as a memorial of the occa
The question immediately arose in the Convention, after the passage of the Ordinance of Secession, "How does this affect the public officers in this State ?" It was an important question. There was no precedent on record. All felt that the question must be immediately answered, or there would be chaos. An ordinance was offered which provided for the continuance in office, and the discharge of the duties of their respective stations, of collectors of customs, postmasters, and other officers of the United States Government within the limits of South Carolina, as agents of that State alone, until the Legislature, or other competent body, should provide otherwise. This elicited debate. Judge Magrath wished immediate action, for, to his understanding, there was then no collector of a port or a postmaster in all South Carolina. The authority of every officer in that State, appointed by the National Government, was extinguished by the Ordinance of Secession; and he was for making provisional arrangements for carrying on government in the lone Commonwealth.
Mr. Gregg believed that, with the passage of the Ordinance of Secession, all the laws of Congress, in South Carolina, fell to the ground instantly. "There is now," he said, "no law on the subject of the collection of duties in South Carolina, now that we have accomplished the work of forty years." "The Congress of the United States is no longer our Government," said Mr. Hayne. "The Legislature," he contended, was competent to declare "what laws of the United States should be continued, and what not."-“ All the revenue and postal laws," repeated Mr. Gregg, "fell to the ground on the passage of the Ordinance of Secession." Mr. Cheves declared, to avoid inconvenience to the people, temporary arrangements must be adopted for carrying on the Government. "An immense chasm," he said, "has been made in law." Mr. Miles said that they must prevent confusion and anarchy in the derangement of governmental affairs, and that "things must for the present remain in statu quo, or confusion will arise."
Mr. Mazyck agreed with Cheves and others, that the duties of collectors and postmasters in South Carolina were extinguished. He was favorable to an abandonment of a public postal system altogether, and giving the business into private hands. Mr. Calhoun said, "We have pulled the temple down that has been built for three-quarters of a century. We must now clear the rubbish away, and construct another. We are now houseless and homeless. We must secure ourselves from storms." Chancellor Dunkin said, that the functions of all officers might "go on as before. There is nothing in the ordinance to affect the dignity, honor, or welfare of the State of South Carolina. We must keep the wheels of government in motion." He thought the ordinance had not entirely "abrogated the Constitution of the United
ADDRESS TO SLAVE-LABOR STATES.
States," and noted the fact, that the gold and silver of the National Government was the legal tender in South Carolina.
And so the argument went on. Barnwell was for sacrificing postal conveniences rather than seem to have any connection with the United States. "There never was any thing purchased," he said, "worth having, unless at the cost of sacrifice." Rhett said :-"This great revolution must go on with as little change as possible," and thought the best plan was to use the United States officers then in place. "By making the Federal agents ours," he said, "the machinery will move on." This was finally the arrangement, substantially.
• December, 1860.
On the 21st, the Convention appointed Robert W. Barnwell, James H. Adams, and James L. Orr, Commissioners to proceed to Washington, to treat for the possession of the National property within the limits of South Carolina. On the same day, the Committee appointed to prepare an "Address of the people of South Carolina to the people of the Slaveholding States," made a report. It was drawn by the
R Barnorce Thetf John Abfred Calhoun W. Peronneau Finley
MF de Saussure Langdow Cheves
Merrick &. Carn.
SIGNATURES OF THE COMMITTEE ON ADDRESS TO THE SLAVE-LABOR STATES.
chairman, R. B. Rhett, and bore in every sentence indications of the characteristics of that conspirator. It was remarkable for a reckless disregard of truth in its assertions, and its deceptive and often puerile logic. It did not, in a single paragraph, rise above the dignity of a partisan harangue. It professed to review the alleged grievances suffered by South Carolina in the Union, but it actually stated not one that might be perceived by the eye of truth. The fact that her politicians had twice placed her in an attitude of hostility to the National Government, to whose fostering care and protection she was indebted for her prosperity and respectability, was shamelessly and ostentatiously paraded; and it was asserted that the Government of the United States was no longer a "Government of Confederated Republics, but of a consolidated Democracy;" that the Constitution was but an experiment, and as such had failed; that the relations of "the South to the North" were