An Ordinance to Dissolve the Union between the State of South Carolina and other States united with her under the compact entitled the Constitution of the United States of America
We, the people of the State of South Carolina
, in Convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, that the ordinance adopted by us in Convention, on the 23d day of May, in the year of our Lord 1788, whereby the Constitution of the United States
was ratified, and also all Acts and parts of Acts of the General Assembly of this State ratifying the amendments of the said Constitution, are hereby repealed, and that the union now subsisting between South Carolina
and other States under the name of the United States of America
is hereby dissolved.
The ordinance was taken up and passed by a unanimous vote of 169 members, at 1 1/4 o'clock.
The following is a summary of the debate on the passage of the ordinance:
--I think the special matter of the ordinance should be immediately considered.
To my understanding there is no Collector of the Port nor Postmaster now within the limits of South Carolina
What you have done to-day has extinguished the authority of every man in South Carolina
deriving authority from the General Government
I am in favor of this body making such provisional arrangements as may be necessary in the interval which may exist between this moment and the time when the Legislature may act. I am not, however, to be implicated as sanctioning the idea that there is no lawful authority within the limits of the State
except the General Government
--After South Carolina
abrogated the Constitution of the United States
, are its laws still in force?
I think not. All the laws of Congress fall instantly to the ground on the act of Secession.
--As an immense chasm will be made in the law, and as it is necessary to avoid inconvenience to the people, we must make some temporary arrangements to carry on the Government
--There is no law on the subject of the collection of the duties in South Carolina
now. We have now accomplished the work after forty years.
--The Congress of the United States is no longer our Government.
It will be for our Legislature to say what laws of the United States
shall be continued and what not. The simple act of secession does not abrogate all the laws.
We have a great many laws on our statute books which were passed by the Governor
and the Privy Council.
--The Congressional laws for the collection of revenue are for the support of the Federal Government
, and all our Post-office laws fall on our dissolution with that Government.
--We have to deal with facts and stern realities.
We must prevent confusion, anarchy, and the derangement of our Government affairs.
Things must for the present remain in statu quo
, or confusion will arise.
--Sudden action is injurious.
--Two questions are involved — power and duty.
We must preserve our people, not only from inconveniences, but chaotic condition.
We must revivify such laws as will best preserve us from calamities.
As to duty, will you turn the ship of State adrift?
what will become of the officers?
--There is no duty for the Collector
of the Port to do. The Post-office has been swept off. My opinion is that the present system of postal arrangements is a nuisance.
The public can be better served by private parties between cities like Philadelphia
and New York, one cent instead of three, and between less important ten or more cents.
--We have pulled a temple down that has been built three-quarters of a century.
We must clear the rubbish away to reconstruct another.
We are now houseless and homeless, and we must secure ourselves against storms.
--If that ordinance be passed things will go on in the Custom-house
and Post-office exactly as now, until other arrangements can be made by this Convention.
There is nothing in the Ordinance to affect the dignity, honor, and welfare of the State of South Carolina
We must keep the wheels of the Government
The Constitution of the United States
is not entirely abrogated by the Ordinance.
What is legal tender in the payment of debts?
Is it not gold
of the United States
In the case of clearing and entry of vessels, we are very liable to have the same confiscated.
--The present revenue would be continued till an act of the Legislature authorized otherwise.
--There is no longer communication with the Government
from which we are just separated.
--The spirit of the ordinance must be temporarily sustained till we treat with the General Government
--The President of the United States
has thrown down the gauntlet in his Message.
He has said that it was his duty to collect the revenue, and that he would do it. On one side the Federal Government
claims the right and declares its intention to execute the power of collecting revenue in our ports; on the other side, we have declared that we are free.
I desire no compromise.
Is it necessary to maintain the fifteen to thirty per cent. duties imposed by the Congress of the United States?
Should these duties continue to be levied our people will suffer a terrible calamity.
For carrying the mails let the present contracts be assumed by South Carolina
instead of the United States
--This great revolution must go on with as little danger as possible to the country.
By making the Federal
agents ours, the machinery will move on. The Federal laws of taxation must not exist over us. I trust that the present system of taxation has fallen forever.
--We have seceded from the United States
, and established our independence.
We can't allow the United States
to exercise authority over us any more.
Let postal convenience be sacrificed if necessary.
There never was any thing purchased worth having, unless it cost a sacrifice.
said, in regard to the mail, all restrictions must be removed.
Let us appoint our officers.
Let the Collector
of the Port battle with the difficulties as they come.--New York Times
, Dec. 1, 1860.