, Henry Ward Beecher
had to be guarded by1
police in Plymouth Church.
, George William Curtis
, engaged to lecture on ‘Honesty’ in a lyceum course, was suppressed by the joint apprehensions2
of the Mayor
and the owners of the hall.
For all this, the movement went on. On December 17 the Secession Convention opened its sessions with prayer in Charleston
, and with the Palmetto
flag flying over all the city and harbor save at Fort Moultrie
On December 20, it passed an ordinance of secession based primarily3
on the violation of Constitutional rights by the passage of Personal Liberty laws—i. e
., on the statutory achievements of the Garrisonian abolitionists.
In place of quoting the language of the ordinance regarding the nature of the compact alleged to have been nullified by the North
, let us take that of John Quincy Adams
, from the familiar armory of the abolitionists:
Yes! it cannot be denied—the slaveholding lords of the4 South prescribed, as a condition of their assent to the Constitution, three special provisions to secure the perpetuity of their dominion over their slaves.
The first was the immunity for twenty years of pursuing the African slave trade; the second was the stipulation to surrender fugitive slaves—an engagement positively prohibited by the laws of God delivered from Sinai; and thirdly, the exaction, fatal to the principles of popular representation, of a representation for slaves—for articles of merchandise, under the name of persons ...
The delegates from South Carolina and Georgia distinctly avowed that, without this guarantee of protection to their property in slaves, they would not yield their assent to the Constitution; and the freemen of the North, reduced to the alternative of departing from the vital principles of their liberty, or of forfeiting the Union itself, averted their faces, and with trembling hand subscribed the bond.
And now let the secession ordinance itself be heard in its particular arraignment of the North
—a hopeless mixture of truth, falsehood, and childishness:5
We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has