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The ruins of secession Hall, Charleston—1865 Three months before Holmes' poem, South Carolinians had cast the die of separation in Secession Hall. It appears to the right of the Circular Church, across the narrow graveyard, its walls blasted by the fire of December, 1861. Here the vote was taken on December 20, 1860, declaring that ‘the union now subsisting between South Carolina and the other States under the name of the “United States of America” is hereby dissolved.’ The secession convention was composed of the most experienced men in the State—men who had represented it in the national Congress, judges in the highest courts, eminent divines, and wealthy planters. On the fourth day of its session, at twelve o'clock, the ordinance quoted from above was read with flashing eyes by the venerable judge of chancery, Chancellor Inglis. At a quarter past one it was passed unanimously. The doorkeeper passed the word to the policeman without; he called to another, and so on until the sentinel at the massive iron gate proclaimed it to the impatient populace. The bells in every rocking steeple mingled their notes with the shouts of the excited throngs that filled the streets. There was no dissent in the secession sentiments here.


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