too that it was suicidal to attempt to stem the public current.
To face the issue to brave public opinion would cost them much in political and possibly in social life.
But they loved the Union
and loved it with the supremest affection.
From early childhood they had learned to sing its praises, to study the lives and emulate the example of its long line of illustrious men, and no less distinguished women.
To point with pride to its star spangled banner, its battlefields and long list of heroes and heroines, and with an enthusiastic ardor which knew no bounds to proclaim its greatness and boast of its grand and glorious past.
And yet they were devoted to their State.
To them secession was not simply a bitter pill, it was a grievous mistake and a national calamity.
Grave, earnest, serious, sad men were these.
They turned their faces skyward and read in the stars gloomy auguries.
They came before the people and foretold war, ruin and desolation, and only too true did their prophecies prove.
And they asked the people over and over again the question, why secede?
What cause for separation exists?
Having done the best they could to stem the tide, but in vain, they quietly and sadly determined to share the fate of their people whatever that fate might be.
To the credit of Carolinians be it said they honored and respected these noble old men to the last.
It was no new thing for Mr. Petigru
, however, to find himself upon the unpopular side of politics.
That was usually his fate.
But under all circumstances throughout his life, though generally on the minority, he boldly avowed his views and had at least the consciousness of knowing that he had his own self-respect.
And as I have already said, he commanded the respect of his people to the last.
He was appointed to codify the laws of the State
He was made President
of the South
Carolina Historical Society, and at the time of his death he was also an honorary member of the Massachusetts' Historical Society.
But Mr. Petigru
was not perfect.
He too had his faults.
He was fond of joking, and his jokes were sometimes too coarse and broad in their character.
And then too, like George Washington
, he would occasionally swear, both to his own hurt and that of his reputation.
These were blemishes upon his character.
A great man cannot be too careful in his conduct.
Others will observe him closely and oftentimes follow in his footsteps.
And now that we have reached a conclusion, how shall we sum up his life?
Judge Samuel McCowan
, formerly a member of the Su-