previous next

[73] be inaugurated. The consent of Chamberlain to be inaugurated could not invalidate his right to hold over, as the whole ceremony was illegal and the body engaged in it could not receive any inferred resignation. This decision gave Chamberlain a legal right to the title of Governor until his successor should be legally inaugurated, but it made it impossible that he should ever have a successor. This could be done only by the joint action of the two Houses and they could meet only at the call of Chamberlain. Now, though the Senate might obey the call of Chamberlain, it was certain that the House of Representatives would not, and so the practical effect of Carpenter's decision would be to leave the State for a year in the hands of a powerless Governor, with no Legislature, no treasury, with nothing by which the State could be saved from falling into perfect anarchy. This seems to have been the blessed result of his visit to Washington, to prolong the rule of a miserable adventurer even though it involved the State in ruin.

An appeal was instantly taken from this monstrous decision, and at the same time a case was made by the granting of a pardon by Hampton to one Tilda Norris, a penitentiary convict. In this case it was the sheriff who refused to recognize Hampton's authority, and the case was brought before the Supreme Court, whose ruling would determine who was the lawful Governor.

We shall follow this case to the end. The same wearying arguments were repeated on both sides, and the same readiness on the part of the court to permit dilatory practice showed that the courts were all desirous of having the decision made outside of South Carolina. They wanted the President to decide for them. I believe Mr. Justice Willard was the exception; that he was ready to assume the responsibility; but he was only one of them.

At last the proceedings were closed, and nothing remained but to pronounce the judgment. At this critical moment, Chief-Justice Moses was stricken down with a fit, from which he never recovered, and the Radicals made use of that opportunity to compass their ends. The third justice was the negro Wright. If he and Willard should agree, their decision would be final; if not, the matter must rest undetermined until a third justice should be elected. Every art that ingenuity could suggest was brought to bear upon the wretched negro. The choicest wines and liquors were lavished upon him. Threats and entreaties were both tried upon him. The sable sisters of the church visited him, prayed for him and with him, and used all

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.
South Carolina (South Carolina, United States) (1)
Hampton (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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.
D. H. Chamberlain (4)
Willard (2)
Tilda Norris (1)
Moses (1)
Wade Hampton (1)
Carpenter (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: