From South Carolina.
the ratification of the Secession Ordinance — the addresses to the people, &c,
The following is the declaration of causes which justify the secession of South Carolina
from the Federal Union, as reported by the committee to prepare an address to the people of the Southern States
The State of South Carolina
having determined to resume a separate and equal position among nations, deems it due to herself and the remaining United States of America
and the nations of the world, that she should declare the causes which led to the act. In 1765 that portion of the British
empire embracing Great Britain
undertook to make laws for the government of the American
A struggle for the right of self-government ensued, which resulted, on the 4th of July, 1776, in a declaration by the colonies that they' are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, and that as free and independent States they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do such things which independent States have the right to do. They further solemnly declare that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the established right of the people to altar and abolish it and institute a new government.
Deeming that the government of Great Britain
had become destructive of these ends, they declare the colonies free and absolved from allegiance to the British
crown, and the political connection between them and Great Britain
was totally dissolved.
The committee say the right of a State to govern itself, and the right of the people to abolish a government when it becomes destructive of the ends for which it was instituted, were expressed when the colonies separated from the Mother Country
, and became free and independent States.
The parties amending the Constitution
on the 17th September 1787, were the several sovereign States.
On May 23, 1788, South Carolina
, by a Convention of her people, assented to the amended Constitution of the United States
The failure of one of the contracting parties to maintain the constitutional obligations releases the other Fifteen of the Northern States
have deliberately refused for years to fulfill their constitutional obligations.
He would refer to those States for a proof of this.
When the fourth article of the Constitution
was adopted, the greater number of the contracting parties held slaves.
The hostility of the Northern States
to the institution of slavery had led them to disregard their constitutional obligations.
The laws of the General Government
have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution
, New Hampshire
, Connection, Rhode Island
, New York.
have enacted laws either nullifying the Constitution
or to render useless all attempts to execute the acts of Congress.
In many of these States fugitives "held to service and to labor" have been claimed, but in none of them has the State Government
complied with the stipulation on this subject made in the Constitution
The ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government
itself made destructive by the action of the non-slaveholding States.
Those States assumed the right of deciding on the propriety of our domestic institutions.
They denied the rights of property established in fifteen States and recognized by the Constitution
They have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; have permitted an open establishment of societies, whose avowal and object are to disturb the peace and prosperity of the citizens of other States; they have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes, and those who remain give been incited by emissaries, by books and pictures to servile insurrection.
Twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until they have secured the power of the common government.
Observing the forms of the Constitution
, a sectional party has found within that article, establishing an executive department, means of subverting the Constitution
A geographical line has been drawn across the Union
, and all States North of that live have united in the election of a man to the high office of President
of the United States
whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery.
In the formation of the federal government each State was recognized as an equal; the right of property in slaves was recognized by giving all free persons distinct political rights; by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years, and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.
He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common government, because it is declared that a government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free, and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.
This sectional combination for the subversion of the Constitution
has been aided in the States by elevating to citizenship persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens, and their votes have been used to inaugurate the new policy hostile to the South
and destructive to its peace and safety.
On the 4th of March next this party will take possession of the Government
It has been announced that the South
shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals will be made sectional; that war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States
.--The guarantees of the Constitution
will then no longer exist; equal rights of the States will be lost.
The slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self- government or self-protection, and the Federal Government
will have become their enemy.
Sectional interests and animosity will deepen the irritation, and all hope of remedy is rendered vain by the fact that the public opinion of the North
has invested the great political error with the sanctions of a more erroneous religious belief.
We, therefore, the people of South Carolina
, by our delegates in Convention assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge
of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, have solemnly declared the Union
heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America
is dissolved, and that the State of South Carolina
has resumed her position among the nations of the world as a free, sovereign, independent State, with full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do; and for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance for protection on Divine Providence, we mutually pledge each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
The second ballot for two other Commissioners to Washington
On the third ballot, Ex-Gov. J. H. Adams
, and ex-Congressman J. L. Orr
were elected to act with Mr. Barnwell
as Commissioners to treat with the United States
The ratification of the Secession Ordinance — interesting Scenes.
The Charleston Mercury has an interesting description of the passage and ratification of the Ordinance of Secession by the State Convention.
Precisely at seven minutes after one o'clock, the vote was taken upon the Ordinance — each man's name being called in order.
As name by name tell upon the ear of the silent assembly, the brief sound was echoed back, without one solitary exception in that whole grave body-- Aye!
At 1.15 o'clock P. M., the last name was called, the Ordinance of Secession was announced to have been passed, and the last fetter had fallen from the limbs of a brave, but too long oppressed people.
The Convention sat with closed doors.
But upon the announcement outside that South Carolina
was no longer a member of the Federal Union, loud shouts of joy rent the air.--The enthusiasm was unsurpassed.
Old men went shouting down the streets.
Cannon were fired, and bright triumph was depicted on every countenance.
But before the Great Seal of the State
was affixed to the Ordinance of Secession, and the names of the Delegates
to the Convention
were signed, it was proposed that this ceremony should be postponed until 7 o'clock that evening, when the Convention
should reassemble and move in procession from the St. Andrew's Hall
, where they then sat, to the great Secession Hall;
and that there, before the assembled citizens of the State
, the Great Seal of the State
should be set, and each signature made.
The proposition was favorably received.
At 6 ½ o'clock P. M., the Convention
reassembled at St. Andrew's Hall, and having formed in procession, moved forward in silence to Secession Hall.
The building was filled to overflowing, and they were received by some three thousand people in the hall.
The Convention was called to order.
The scene was one profoundly grand and impressive.
There were a people assembled through their highest representatives — men, most of them upon whose heads the snows of sixty winters had been shed; patriarchs in age; the dignitaries of the land; the High Priests
of the Church of Christ; reverend statesmen; and the wise judges of the law. In the midst of deep silence, an old man, with bowed form and hair as white as snow--the Rev. Dr. Bachman
--advanced forward, with upraised hands, in prayer to Almighty God for His blessing and favor in this great act of His people, about to be consummated.
The whole assembly at once rose to its feet, and, with hats off, listened to the touching and eloquent appeal to the All-wise Dispenser of events.
At the close of the prayer, the President
advanced with the consecrated parchment upon which was inscribed the decision of the State
, with the Great Seal attached.
Slowly and solemnly it was read unto the last word--"dissolved
"--when men could contain themselves no longer, and a shout that shook the very building, reverberating, long-continued, rose to Heaven, and ceased only with the loss of breath.
In proud, grave silence, the Convention
itself waited the end with beating hearts.
The President then requested the Delegates
(by previous decision) to step forward as they were called in the alphabetical order of the Districts which they represented, and sign the Ordinance.
Two hours were occupied in this solemn ceremony — the crowd waiting patiently the end. As the Delegation from St. Philip
's and St. Michael
's came forward, again the hall was filled with applause.
And as the Hon. R. B. Rhett
advanced to the parchment, the shouts became deafening, long-continued, until he had seated himself, signed and retired.--The same special compliment was paid to our Ex-Governor Gist
, who recommended in his message to the extra session the immediate secession of South Carolina
from the Union
At the close of the signatures, the President
, advancing to the front of the platform, announced that the Seal of the State
had been set, the signatures of the Convention
put to the Ordinance, and he thereby proclaimed the State of South Carolina
a separate, independent nationality.