previous next

The people of South Carolina.

The Republican press is constantly teeming with the most scandalous libels and misrepresentations of the people of South Carolina. We suppose there is no community, as there is no individual, free from faults, or at any rate from little eccentricities and foibles, which give exquisite satisfaction to their enemies, and under which even their best friends are not altogether inconsolable. New England itself has certain peculiarities, which her own wits have worked up in a manner to make her appear more ridiculous than they are now trying to make South Carolina. The impression the enemies of the latter now wish to convey is, that she is a brawling, gasconading State, always blustering and talking about fighting, but only needing to have her jaws soundly boxed, to scamper off, whining and yelping like a whipped cur. The South Carolinians do not seem to be much moved by this calumny, and, indeed, they could pursue no better policy, if that were their object, than to permit their detractors to underrate the enemy with whom they have to deal.

However we may differ from South Carolina, in the policy of separate State action, we feel bound to do justice to the character of her people, unscrupulously maligned as it is by the Black Republican press. We have never failed to do justice to the North. We have always discriminated between the sound and true men of that region and the unfriendly and the false. We have especially, and for many years, endeavored to disabuse the Southern mind of certain erroneous ideas of two qualities of Northern character — courage and generosity--two qualities for which, in point of fact, it is pre-eminent. We have shown that, whilst Northern men were educated to regard duelling as murder, they have never been found wanting when their country called them to the field; and that, in point of fact, the great naval victories of the late war were nearly all achieved by Northern men. And we now assure the South that, in defending its own rights, it can make no greater mistake than to underrate the prowess of its enemies whilst at the same time it may derive encouragement from the fact that no nation ever yet lived, which, fighting on its own soil, fighting for its firesides, its wives and its children, was not equal to five times the number of its invaders, no matter how brave and determined those invaders might be.

But whilst doing justice to a section in which a party now rules who are preparing to draw the sword upon the South, we may be permitted, we hope, without treason, to suggest that the misrepresentations of South Carolina character in the North are quite as gross and monstrous as any which prevail of Northern character in the South.--There is no surer test of the character of a people than the purity of their private life, and the fact that there has never been a divorce in South Carolina since the foundation of the Government, is an example of exalted domestic virtue such as the whole world does not surpass. If it be true that "Righteousness exalted a nation," then a people of whom this can be said are not to be despised by anybody, and least of all, by those dissolute and licentious organs of Socialism and Free Love, which are now affecting to look down upon South Carolinians as a despicable and contemptible race. In regard to another virtue, integrity in business transactions, we will leave it to any candid enemy of South Carolina, any truthful business man of the North, himself to decide whether there is a people in America more faithful and rigid in all their pecuniary engagements. The virtues of hospitality and of liberality no one denies them, and the noble institutions of Charleston for the relief of orphans are unsurpassed in this country. In regard to religion, we suppose there is no State in the Union which has, in proportion to population, as many churches and professors of religion, and as little infidelity; whilst, at the same time, there is a noble spirit of toleration amongst all denominations, and between Catholics and Protestants such as we rarely find elsewhere. The population of Charleston is as thoroughly church-going as New England was in its best days, and there is one church alone which has 2,500 African communicants. It may be mentioned here that the religious education of the negroes is more carefully and thoroughly attended to in South Carolina than in any other Southern State. They are not permitted, as in Virginia, to hold separate assemblies; but in every church of every denomination the most ample accommodations are provided for this class of the people. Nor are the Carolinians as demonstrative in their manners as is generally supposed. There is more reserve, and sometimes apparent coldness, than among some communities in the free States; but at the same time, when the ice of formality is broken, a heart as warm as that of Old Virginia — and there-can be nothing warmer and nobler than that — beats beneath. We say nothing of the courage of South Carolina--that must speak for itself, but those who doubt it, if they are her enemies, will doubt it to their own disadvantage. We do not agree with her polities, but justice requires us to say, what we know by personal intercourse with her people, that no better men and women live anywhere in this round globe than the men and women of South Carolina.

If her star does disappear forever from our national horizon, 1st us hope that it will go down in a cloudless and peaceful sky, not amid storms and tempests, tears and blood.

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) (10)
New England (United States) (2)

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.
Catholics (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: