was, in his earlier years, an admirer and follower of Mr. Clay
; but, since 1850, he had gone a roving after strange gods.
He now said:
Should Georgia determine to go out of the Union, I speak for one, though my views may not agree with them, whatever the result may be, I shall bow to the will of her people.
Their cause is my cause, and their destiny is my destiny; and I trust this will be the ultimate course of all. The greatest curse that can befall a free people is civil war. But, as I said, let us call a Convention of the people; let all these matters be submitted to it; and, when the will of a majority of the people has thus been expressed, the whole State will present one unanimous voice in favor of whatever may be demanded.
Of course, Mr. Stephens
was taken at his word.
A Convention was
called; a majority of delegates secured for Disunion; an Ordinance of Secession passed; and Mr. Stephens
sank from the proud position of a citizen of the American Republic
into that of Vice-President
of the Confederacy
of slaveholding traitors and their benighted, misguided satellites and dupes.
The South Carolina Convention met at Columbia
on the appointed day--December 17th. Gen. D. F. Jamison
, its temporary Chairman
, on being called to preside, paraded the wrongs of the South
in the admission of California
, organization and settlement of Kansas
, etc., etc., and trusted that “the door is now closed forever
against any further connection1
with the Northern
confederacy,” etc., etc., etc. He further trusted that “we shall not be diverted from our purpose by any dictates from without;
” and that the Convention
, in inaugurating such a movement, would heed the counsels of a master-spirit of the French Revolution
, whose maxim was, to “dare, and again to dare, and without end to dare
Mr. Chas. G. Memminger2
having suggested that the members, on the roll being called, advance and be sworn, a delegate responded: “Oh no!
that is not required; we came not to make
, but to unmake
, a government.”
was, on the fifth ballot, chosen President
At the evening session of the first day, Hon. John A. Elmore
, a Commissioner from Alabama
, and Hon. Charles Hooker
, a Commissioner from Mississippi
, were introduced by the President
, and successively addressed the Convention
— of course, in favor of prompt and unconditional Secession.
I am instructed by the Governor of Alabama to say that he desires, and, lie believes,