The Union Is Dissolved

The State of South Carolina has recorded herself before the universe. In reverence before God, fearless of man, unawed by power, unterrified by clamor, she has cut the Gordian knot of colonial dependence upon the North — cast her fortune upon her right, and her own right arm, and stands ready to uphold alike her independence and her dignity before the world.

Charleston Mercury, 21 December 1860.

The Seal of South Carolina.


To dissolve the union between the State of South Carolina and other States united with her under the compact entitled “The Constitution of the United States of America.”

We, the people of the State of South Carolina, in convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained,

That the ordinance adopted by us in convention on the twenty-third day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and also all acts and parts of acts of the General Assembly of this State ratifying amendments of the said Constitution, are hereby repealed; and that the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States, under the name of the “United States of America,” is hereby dissolved.

Done at Charleston the twentieth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty.

Animis Opibusque Parati

The Arms (Great Seal) of South Carolina, from Mitchell, Henry (1876) The State Arms of the Union, Boston: L. Prang & Co.
The Arms (Great Seal) of South Carolina, from Mitchell, Henry (1876) The State Arms of the Union, Boston: L. Prang & Co.

Inscribed among the calends of the world — memorable in time to come — the 20th day of December, in the year of our Lord 1860, has become an epoch in the history of the human race. A great Confederated Republic, overwrought with arrogant and tyrannous oppressions, has fallen from its high estate amongst the nations of the earth. Conservative liberty has been vindicated. Mobocratic license has been stricken down. Order has conquered, yet liberty has survived. Right has raised his banner aloft, and bidden defiance to Might. The problem of self-government under the check-balance of slavery, has secured itself from threatened destruction.

South Carolina has resumed her entire sovereign powers, and, unshackled, has become one of the nations of the earth.

On yesterday, the 20th of December, 1860, just before one o’clock, p.m., the Ordinance of secession was presented by the Committee on “the Ordinance,” to the Convention of the people of South Carolina. 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 fell 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, and upon the MERCURY bulletin board, 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 1/2 o’clock p.m., the Convention reassembled at St. Andrew’s Hall. At 6 3/4 o’clock p.m., they formed in procession and 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 who 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. Phillip’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. It was a proud and worthy tribute, gracefully paid, and appreciated. 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.

To describe the enthusiasm with which this announcement was greeted, is beyond the power of the pen. The high, burning, bursting heart alone can realize it. A mighty voice of great thoughts and great emotions spoke from the mighty throat of one people as a unit.

The State of South Carolina has recorded herself before the universe. In reverence before God, fearless of man, unawed by power, unterrified by clamor, she has cut the Gordian knot of colonial dependence upon the North — cast her fortune upon her right, and her own right arm, and stands ready to uphold alike her independence and her dignity before the world. Prescribing to none, she will be dictated to by none willing for peace, she is ready for war. Deprecating blood, she is willing to shed it. Valuing her liberties, she will maintain them. Neither swerved by frowns of foes, nor swayed by timorous solicitations of friends, she will pursue her direct path, and establish for herself and for her posterity, her rights, her liberties and her institutions. Though friends may fail her in her need, though the cannon of her enemies may belch destruction among her people, South Carolina, unawed, unconquerable, will still hold aloft her flag, “ANIMIS OPIBUSQUE PARATI.” [“READY IN SPIRIT AND DEEDS”]

— Charleston Mercury, 21 December 1860.

How to Enjoy the Springs and Stay at Home

White Sulphur Spring, Montgomery County from Album of Virginia; or, Illustration of the Old Dominion, Richmond, Virginia [but Dresden & Berlin, Germany]: Edward Beyer [but printed by Rau & Son of Dresden and W.Loeillot of Berlin], 1858.
White Sulphur Spring, Montgomery County from Album of Virginia; or, Illustration of the Old Dominion, Richmond, Virginia [but Dresden & Berlin, Germany]: Edward Beyer [but printed by Rau & Son of Dresden and W.Loeillot of Berlin], 1858.

How to Enjoy the Springs and Stay at Home

Now that the tide of summer absentees is returning, the following racy burlesque upon the leading Springs, taken from the Southern Literary Messenger, will be keenly relished:

White Sulphur.–Tie a roll of brimstone under your nose, and drink freely of thick warm water. Break some doubtful eggs in your pocket, and run round till you are exhausted. Procure a second-hand diabetes, change your linen six times a day, and strut loftily under a tree.

Old Sweet.–Get a large tub, and put some white pebbles in the bottom. Sit down in it and blow soap-bubbles. Dress your best, and don’t know anybody.

Red Sweet.–Obtain some iron fillings, paint ’em red, put ’em in a tin-pan or pitcher, and look at ’em in solitary silence. Eat much mutton, and go to bed early. Whisky julep eight times a day.

Salt Sulphur.–Call yourself a South Carolinian, and take things easy. Live well. Stay in one place a long time. Tincture of brimstone occasionally.

Montgomery White.–Wear a loose sack coat and look at mulattos frequently. Eat a great variety of raw meats and undone vegetables. Play at faro and draw poker.

Yellow Sulphur.–Get good living on the top of a hill, where you can’t see anything whatever. Dominoes, draughts and backgammon.

Alleghany.–Sit down in a hard chair in a deep, hot hole, and drink citrate of magnesia and epsom salts. Gamble some with dyspeptics.

Coyner’s.–Take the Lynchburg papers, and gaze with melancholy pertinacity at the side of a naked hill. Whist and religious tracts.

Rockbridge Allum.–Select some cases of cancer on the face, with a few necks scrofulously raw, and dine with them daily on indifferent victuals. Then catch the drippings of the caves of a very old house, in a tin cup with a long handle, thicken the drippings with powdered nutgalls, and drink three times a day.

All Healing Springs.–Throw a green blanket in a shallow pond, and wallow on it. Cut off a strip of blanket and clap it to your ribs. Read old novels and talk to pious old ladies about deaths and chronic diseases of the digestive tube.

Warm Springs.–Diet yourself on the unadulterated juice of the tea-kettle.

Hot Springs.–Wear a full suit of mustard plasters, and walk about in the sunshine at noon day, swearing you have got the rheumatism.

Berkley Springs.–Keep your shin [skin?] clear, and know nothing but Baltimore ten pins.

Peaks of Otter.–Climb a high pole on a cold day at sunrise. Shut your eyes and whistle.

Weir’s Cave.–Go into the cellar at midnight–feel the edges of things, and skin your shins against the coal scuttle. Sit down on a pile of anthracite, with a tallow candle, and wonder.

Old Point Comfort.–Build a hog pen in a mud-puddle; fill it with cockle-burs and thistles, and call it surf-bathing. Drink bad brandy. Don’t sleep. Lie down with your windows wide open, and no clothing on. Come home with a fishbone in your throat, and oyster shell in your head, a pain in your stomach, and ten thousand mosquito bites in your body.

Cape May.–Penetrate an immense crowd of male and female rowdies, drop some salt water in both eyes. Shoot pistols. Eat some ice cream and claret, and send up one sky rocket every night. Have yourself insulted often by niggers. At mid-day smell of an oven with a dead pig in it. Fill your pockets with cut glass broken into minute fragments.

Yankee Watering Places Generally.–Keep a stale codfish under each arm, live on onions and pumpkins, go in strong for the Union and freesoil, and dance the round dances in big breeches.

Charleston Mercury, 6 October 1860, p. 4, c. 2.

Confound the Machinations of Our Enemies

Confederate Flag over fallen Fort Sumter, 1861.
Confederate Flag over fallen Fort Sumter, 1861.

Prayers suitable for the Times in which we Live.

Mr. Editor: The following prayers have been circulated in manuscript, and used for some time past by many who, believing firmly in an over-ruling Providence, and in the righteousness of our cause, have daily poured out their hearts to Him who sitteth in the throne judging right.

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They have now been printed for distribution, and may be had at Russell & Jones, King-street, by all those who value the privilege of intercessory prayer. Filia.

A Prayer for the Times.
Compiled from an old writer, with alterations and additions suitable to the present condition of the Confederate States of America.

– – –

Gracious Father, the life of man is a warfare upon earth, and the dangers which assault us are diversely pointed against us. We humbly beseech Thee be present with us in all the course and passages of our lives, but especially in the Secession we have undertaken, and the hostilities in which it has involved us. Suffer no malice, or treachery, or stratagem — whether civil, diplomatic, or military, to hurt us; no cunning to circumvent us; no surprises to come upon us unawares; no falsehood to betray us. That which we cannot foresee we beseech Thee to prevent; that which we cannot withstand we beseech Thee to master; that which we do not fear we beseech Thee to unmask and frustrate — that being delivered from all dangers of spirit, soul and body, we may praise Thee, our Deliverer, and experience how secure and happy a thing it is to make the Lord of Hosts our Protector and Helper in the day of fear and trouble, or peril and distress.

O, our God, though mighty and numerous States gather together on heaps, yet let them be driven away from our borders as the smoke before the wind; and though they take counsel together, bring it to nought. For though they pronounce a decree, yet it shall not stand, if Thou, O God, be with us. Be with us, therefore, O God, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Almighty and merciful Father, at this time we need Thy more especial assistance, both by land and by sea, and for the mercy of Christ deny us neither. Defeat, we implore Thee, the designs and confound the machinations of our enemies; abate their pride and assuage their fury; soften their hearts and change their unnatural hatred into Christian love, and forgive them all their sings against Thee and against us. Grant that their ships may find no way in our seas, nor any path in our floods; may their spies be speedily detected and effectually banished from our midst; preserve us from war and tumult; from battle, murder and sudden death; guard us from sedition, conspiracy and rebellion; defend our soil from invasion and our ports from blockade — that we may glorify Thee for these deliverances, no less than for Thy signal presence and power in the mercies of our bloodless victory; and thus being sheltered by Thy grace and favor from every spiritual and temporal evil, and from all personal and national calamities, we may ever obey and serve Thee in purity of heart and holiness of life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, to whom, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, be all praise, worship and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

– – –

A Prayer for Our Enemies.
[From the same writer]

O God, we beseech Thee, forgive and pardon our enemies, and give us that measure of Thy grace, that for their hatred we may love them, for their cursing we may bless them, for their injury we may do them good, and for their persecution we may pray for them. They have laid a net for our steps, and have digged a pit before us. Lord; we desire not that they themselves should fall into the midst of these, but, we beseech Thee, keep us out of them, and deliver, establish, bless and prosper us for Thy mercy’s sake in Jesus Christ our Saviour, to whom, with Thee and the Holy Spirit, we desire to consecrate ourselves and our country, now and forever, imploring Thee to be our God and to make us Thy people. Amen.

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Washington’s Prayer.
[From McGuire’s Religious Opinions and Character of Washington.]
Almighty Father, if it is Thy holy will that we shall obtain a place and name among the nations of the earth, grant that we may be enabled to show our gratitude for Thy goodness by our endeavors to fear and obey Thee. Bless us with wisdom in our councils, success in battle, and let all victories be tempered with humanity. Endow, also, our enemies with enlightened minds, that they may become sensible of their injustice, and willing to restore our liberty and peace. Grant the petition of Thy servant for the sake of Him whom Thou hast called Thy beloved Son; nevertheless, not our will but Thine be done. Amen.

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A Prayer for Our Armies.
[By Bishop Green, of Mississippi.]

Almighty God, whose Providence watcheth over all things, and in whose hands is the disposal of all events, we look up to Thee for Thy protection and blessing amidst the apparent and great dangers with which we are encompassed. Thou hast, in Thy wisdom, permitted us to be threatened with the many evils of an unnatural and destructive war. Save us, we beseech Thee, from the hands of our enemies. Watch over our fathers and brothers and sons who, trusting in Thy defence and in the righteousness of our cause, have gone forth to the service of their country. May their lives be precious in Thy sight. Preserve them from all the dangers to which they may be exposed. Enable them successfully to perform their duty to Thee and to their country, and do Thou, in Thine infinite wisdom and power, so overrule events, and so dispose the hearts of all engaged in this painful struggle, that it may soon end in the safety, honor and welfare of our Confederate States, but to the good of Thy people, and the glory of Thy great name, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

— Charleston Mercury, 13 June 1861, p. 1, c. 4.

In Cold Virginia Earth

Is there indeed a door,
Where the old pastimes, with their lawful noise,
And all the merry round of Christmas joys,
Could enter as of yore?

Would not some pallid face
Look in upon the banquet, calling up
Dread shapes of battle in the wassail cup,
And trouble all the place?

How could we bear the mirth,
While some loved reveller of a year ago
Keeps his mute Christmas now beneath the snow,
In cold Virginia earth?

— From the poem, Christmas, by Henry Timrod,
Charleston Mercury, 25 December 1862, p. 2, c. 2.

Make Old Scott the First Victim

Letter From a Georgia Lady.

We have been favored, by a venerable gentleman of this city, with the following extract of a letter from his niece, now living in Georgia, which fully shows the spirit which animates the matrons of the South, and evidences that they are the worthy descendants of the women of ’76:

You know that it has always been from childhood a subject of regret to me that I was not of the other sex; but never have I felt it more bitterly than at this time. A poor weak woman, that can do nothing for her country, unless it is to nurse the sick and wounded, which I know I would do to the best of my ability; but you may rest assured, if there is a gun lying idle that could be made effective, here is an individual that would not stop to think of petticoats, but put it to the best use she knows how, and I would not hesitate to make old Scott the first victim if I could.

My boys are healthy and strong fellows; I wish they were old enough to do duty. I would willingly give them up for this cause.

— Charleston Mercury, 16 January 1861, p. 1, c. 3.

Jealous Not Even of Virginia

The wild talk prevalent in the official and the semi-official organs at Richmond grates harshly upon the ear of South Carolina.  It is still more grievous to her to hear the same unmanly proposition from those in authority in the old State of Virginia.  Side by side Carolina and Virginia have stood together against all comers for near two centuries — the exemplars and authors of Southern civilization.  Side by side it is our earnest hope they will stand to all time against the world.  But we grieve to say there are counsels now brewing there that South Carolina cannot abet — that she will not suffer to be consummated, so far as she  is concerned in them.

There are men in Virginia, and there are men in South Carolina, who have supposed that there is jealousy existing between these States, in the race of fame and ambition.  These men are small pettifoggers and petty creatures.  There is no State in the Union that has the solid, calm respect for the merits of Virginia, that exists here in South Carolina.  But we are not mouthers, or worshipers.  We have no demonstrations to make.  It is not our habit.  We act.  John C. Calhoun, the idol, the demi-god of South Carolina, could have made his most magnificent effort of genius before a Charleston audience, and the only response, at the climax of one of his grand sylogisms [sic], would have been a slight, a very slight rapping on the floor.  Men who worshiped him, found it not congenial to their natures to demonstrate.  Calm and quiet approval is our habit — our custom — to all.  We are sufficiently confident in our position — sufficiently confident in our own intelligence — in our conduct — in our history, to be jealous of no State — not even of Virginia.  We are prepared to stand upon the basis of our record, with a satisfaction too complete to admit of envy towards any people.  As equals, as dear friends, who have most confidence in each other from long experience and good deeds done, and good feeling, we meet Virginia in counsels of war or of peace.  When Virginia wants a sword to assist in her defence, Carolina’s will ever be the first unsheathed.

But, we are no followers.

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