Appeal from South Carolina to the Slaveholding states, 12/25/1860


Apr 19, 2011
Richmond (VA) Daily Dispatch, Dec. 28, 1860:

Appeal from South Carolina.​
The address of the "People of Sonth Carolina" to the Slaveholding states, concludes as follows :​
Citizens of the slaveholding Slates of the United Stales, circumstances beyond our control have placed us in the van of the great controversy between the Northern and Southern States. We would have preferred that other States should have assumed the position we now occupy. Independent ourselves, we disclaim any design or desire to lead the counsels of the other Southern States. Providence has cast our lot together, by extending us an identity of pursuits, interests and institutions. South Carolina desires no destiny separated from yours. To be one of a great slaveholding confederacy, stretching its arm over a territory larger man any power in Europe possesses.—with a population four times greater than that of the whole United States, when they achieved their independence of the British Empire--with productions which make our existence more important to the world than that of any other people inhabiting it--with common institutions to defend and common dangers to encounter--we ask your sympathy and confederation.​
Whilst constituting a portion of the United States, it has been your statesmanship which has guided it in its mighty strides to power and expansion. In the field, as in the Cabinet, you have led the way to its renown and grandeur. You have loved the Union, in whose service your great statesmen have labored, and pour great soldiers have fought and conquered—not for the material benefits it conferred, but with the faith of a generous and devoted chivalry. You have long lingered and hoped over the shattered remains of a broken Constitution. Compromise after compromise, formed by your concessions, has been trampled under foot by your Northern confederates. All fraternity of feeling between the North and the South Is lost, or has been converted Into hate; and we of the South are at last driven together by the stern destiny which controls the existence of nations.​
Your bitter experience of the faithlessness and rapacity of your Northern confederates may have been necessary to evolve those great principles of free government, upon which the liberties of the world depend, and to prepare you for the grand mission of vindicating and re-establishing them. We rejoice that other nations should be satisfied with their institutions. Self-complacency is a great element or happiness with nations as with individuals. We are satisfied with ours. If they prefer a system of industry, in which capitol and labor are in perpetual conflict, and chronic starvation keeps down the natural increase of population, and a man is worked out in eight years, and the law ordains that children shall be worked only ten boon a day, and the saber and bayonet are the instruments of order, be it so.. it is their affair, not ours.​
We prefer, however, oar system of industry, by which labor and capital are identified in interest, and capital, therefore, protects labor, by which our population doubles every twenty years; by which starvation is unknown, and abundance crowns the land; by which order is preserved by an unpaid police, and the most fertile regions of the world, where the Caucasians cannot labor, are brought into usefulness by the labor of the African, and the whole world is blessed by our own productions. All we demand of other people is to be let alone to work out our own high destinies. United together, and we must be the most independent, as we are the most important amongst the nations of the World. United together, and we inquire no other instrument to conquer peace than our beneficent productions. United together, and we must be a great, free and prosperous people, whose renown must spread throughout the civilized world, and past down, we trust, to the remotest ages. We ask you to join as in forming a Confederacy slaveholding States.​

Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Jul 8, 2015
"Self-complacency is a great element or happiness with nations as with individuals. We are satisfied with ours."

A remarkable admission on Rhett's part, I'd say.


Brigadier General
Jan 12, 2016
South Carolina
The full Address can be found here:

Interesting to note that of the 15 paragraphs, the first is an intro, then the following 8 are about consolidation of federal power, taxation, and comparisons between the tax and representation problems the colonies had with the British government compared with the problems the Southern states have with the United States government, and then the final six are more focused on slavery.

The one great evil, from which all other evils have flowed, is the overthrow of the Constitution of the United States. The Government of the United States is no longer the government of Confederated Republics, but of a consolidated Democracy. It is, in fact such a Government as Great Britain attempted to set over our Fathers; and which was resisted and defeated by a seven years’ struggle for independence.​
The Southern States, now stand exactly in the same position towards the Northern States, that the Colonies did towards Great Britain. The Northern States, having the majority in Congress, claim the same power of omnipotence in legislation as the British parliament. “The General Welfare,” is the only limit to the legislation of either; and the majority in Congress, as in the British parliament, are the sole judges of the expediency of the legislation, this “General Welfare” requires. Thus, the Government of the United States has become a consolidated Government; and the people of the Southern State, are compelled to meet the very despotism, their fathers threw off in the Revolution of 1776.​
The consolidation of the Government of Great Britain over the Colonies, was attempted to be carried out by the taxes. The British parliament undertook to tax the Colonies, to promote British interests. Our father, resisted this pretension. They claimed the right of self-taxation through their Colonial Legislatures. They were not represented in the British Parliament, and therefore could not rightfully be taxed by its Legislature. The British Government, however, offered them a representation in parliament; but it was not sufficient to enable them to protect themselves from the majority, and they refused the offer. Between taxation without any representation, and taxation without a representation adequate to protection, there was no difference. In neither case would the Colonies tax themselves. Hence, they refused to pay the taxes laid by the British parliament.​
And so with the Southern States, towards the Northern States, in the vital matter of taxation. They are in a minority in Congress. Their representation in Congress, is useless to protect them against unjust taxation; and they are taxed by the people of the North for their benefit, exactly as the people of Great Britain taxed our ancestors in the British parliament for their benefit. For the last forty years, the taxes laid by the Congress of the United States have been laid with a view of subserving the interests of the North. The people of the South have been taxed by duties on imports, not for revenue, but for an object inconsistent with revenue–to promote, by prohibitions, Northern interests in the productions of their mines and manufactures.​

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