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[330] Carolina was held at the residence of Senator Hammond, near Augusta, on the 25th of October, 1860. Gov. Gist, ex-Gov. Adams, ex-Speaker Orr, and the entire delegation to Congress, except Mr. Miles, who was kept away by sickness, were present, with many other men of mark. By this cabal, it was unanimously resolved that South Carolina should secede from the Union in the event of Lincoln's then almost certain election. Similar meetings of kindred spirits were held simultaneously, or soon afterward, in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and probably other Slave States. By these meetings, and by the incessant interchange of messages, letters, and visits, the entire slaveholding region had been prepared, so far as possible, for disunion in the event of a Republican, if not also of a Douglas, triumph.

The Legislature of South Carolina does not regularly meet until the fourth Monday in November; but, the recent act of Congress requiring a choice of Presidential Electors prior to that time, Gov. Gist had good reason for calling the Legislature of 1860 to meet in advance of the regular day. It met, according to his summons, at Columbia, on Monday, Nov. 5 (the day before the choice of Presidential Electors throughout the Union), when Mr. W. D. Porter, of Charleston, was chosen President of the Senate. On taking the Chair, he said:

I do not seek now to lift the veil that hides the future from our sight; but we have all an instinctive feeling that we are on the eve of great events. His Excellency, the Governor, in the terms of his call, has summoned us to take action, if advisable, for the safety and protection of the State. Heretofore, we have consulted for its convenience and well-being; now, its destiny, its very existence, depends upon our action. It was the old injunction, in times of great peril, to the Roman consuls, to take care that the Republic sustained no detriment; this charge and injunction is now addressed to us. All that is dear and precious to this people — life, fortune, name, and history — all is committed to our keeping for weal or for woe, for honor or for shame. Let us do our part, so that those who come after us shall acknowledge that we were not unworthy of the great trusts devolved upon us, and not unequal to the great exigencies by which we were tried. Above all things, let us be of one mind. We are all agreed as to our wrongs. Let us sacrifice all differences of opinion, as to the time and mode of remedy, upon the altar of patriotism, and for the sake of the great cause. In our unanimity will be our strength, physical and moral. No human power can withstand or break down a united people, standing upon their own soil and defending their homes and firesides. May we be so united, and may the great Governor of men and of nations inspire our hearts with courage, and inform our understandings with wisdom, and lead us in the way of honor and of safety.

Gov. Gist (whose term expired with the current year) communicated to both Houses his Annual Message, immediately on their organization. It is as follows:

Executive Department, Columbia, S. C., Nov. 5, 1860.
Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives:
The act of Congress, passed in the year 1846, enacts that the electors of President and Vice-President shall be appointed on the Tuesday next after the first Monday of the month of November, of the year in which they are to be appointed. The annual meeting of the Legislature of South Carolina, by a constitutional provision, will not take place until the fourth Monday in November instant. I have considered it my duty, under the authority conferred upon me to convene the Legislature on extraordinary occasions, to convene you, that you may, on to-morrow, appoint the number of Electors of President and Vice-President to which this State is entitled.

Under ordinary circumstances, your duty could be soon discharged by the election of Electors representing the choice of the people of the State; but, in view of the threatening aspect of affairs, and the strong probability of the election to the Presidency of a sectional candidate, by a party committed to the support of measures, which, if carried out, will inevitably destroy our


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