previous next

[247] he assigns a cause for the outbreak so trivial and so absurd that men in their senses ought to have called for a more consistent account. But men were not in their senses, and anything that would show the Southerners to be fools and madmen was swallowed by the North with eager credulity. A few facts should be considered before we reach the Governor's report. The affair took place on the night of the 8th. He could not have heard of it before the next day. Instead of going himself, as a Governor should have done, he sent Stover, his Attorney-General, and Purvis, his chief military officer. These men probably reached Hamburg on the 10th, conversed with such persons as they casually saw, found the coroner's inquest at work, and made their report on the 12th, which had this remarkable conclusion: ‘It may be possible that a judicial investigation may show some slight errors in the minor details stated in this report, but making due allowance for such errors, the facts show the demand on the militia to give up their arms was made by persons without lawful authority to enforce such demand, or to receive the arms had they been surrendered; that the attack on the militia to compel a compliance with this demand was without lawful excuse or justification, and that after there had been some twenty or twenty-five persons completely in their power, five were deliberately shot to death, and three wounded.’ This report was made by the Attorney-General nearly three weeks before the coroner's inquest was completed.

Now follows the Governor's account in a letter to Senator Robinson:

Two young men—Butler and his brother-in-law, Gatsten—passing through Hamburg in a buggy on the 4th July, encountered a company of militia in the street under parade, commanded by Doc. Adams. The street is over a hundred feet in breadth, and the company was marching in a column of fours. While thus marching, and of course occupying a very small portion of the street, they were met by these two whites, who insisted on keeping their course in the street without regard to the movements of the militia, and drove against the head of the column, which halted. A parley ensued, which ended in the company yielding, opening their ranks, and allowing the young men to proceed on their course.

For this offence

(so far from offence, this is a report of unusual civility on the part of the negroes) ‘a complaint was made the following day to Prince Rivers, who discharged the double duty of General and Trial Justice. He sent a summons to Adams to appear before him, but he was not obeyed. Rivers determined to arrest Adams, and the case was adjourned until the 8th. On that day a number of whites ’

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Hamburg, S. C. (South Carolina, United States) (2)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Samuel Adams (3)
Stover (1)
Robinson (1)
Purvis (1)
Doc (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
July 4th (1)
12th (1)
10th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: