Restricted Debate The South Carolina Secession convention, day by day

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#81
Inglis looks to the future celebrations of independence day for the new Union "about to be born". He hopes for centuries of celebration as people look back.

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Mr. INGLIS. Mr. President, I desire to say that it seems to me that we ought to realize, and perhaps we do, unless our minds are too much excited by the nature of the occasion in which we are now engaged, that this is a very great event, a very solemn event - it is an event not confined to ourselves, but, for aught we can see, to the people of every portion of the Confederacy and perhaps other nations - because a great political change like this cannot take place without being felt to a wide extent throughout the nations of the earth. Now, sir, I suppose I am as much opposed as any man on this floor to anything like demonstration to which the American people are so much devoted, yet I am not opposed to a proper solemnity attending such an act as the ratification of this Ordinance. One word more, sir, - I say we ought to realize the advantage of this act. Sir, the history of the past in our own country justifies us in anticipating the success which will attend us finally, in the consummation of our hopes, and that this day, for perhaps at least three fourths of a century to come, and let us hope for centuries to come, shall be celebrated as a day in the history of the Union now about to be born; and it is not wise, it is not worth the while, considering that the whole act should not be divided into parcels, but if possible that the whole should be celebrated on one single day, forever to be remembered in the calendar of the year.
 

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#82
The discussion on when to make the Ordinance official continues after Inglis finishes, and a couple of interesting mindsets jumped out at me.
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McCrady has no desire to hide the secession proceedings:

Mr. McCRADY. Mr. President, I will remark that this act of ours should be done in broad daylight, before all our citizens: it ought to be proclaimed in Columbia as well as in Charleston; in the Capital as well as in the city. It should be done to-morrow, at 12 o'clock. We do not march, as they do at the North, in torchlight processions, and do what we do openly.​

Mr. Keitt looks to the future, just like Inglis. These men are concerned about posterity, and how their actions will be viewed.
Mr. KEITT. Mr. President, I trust that motion will not prevail. I think we can perform this ceremony much better to-morrow than to-night. It is very well known that very many members did not sign the Declaration of Independence until two or three weeks after that Declaration had been written and made public. Many of them signed it between the 10th and 15th of July. I do not see, if the act is already consummated to-day, how we can lose anything by ratifying it to-morrow. Sir, we are performing a great act which involving not only the stirring present, but embracing the whole great future of the ages to come. I have been engaged in this movement ever since I have entered political life. I am content with what has been done to-day, and content with what will take place to-morrow. I would have preferred to have adopted the resolution of the gentleman from Richland, and have adjourned afterwards. We have carried the body of this Union to its last resting place, and now we will drop the flag over its grave. After that is done, I am ready to adjourn and leave the remaining ceremonies for to-morrow.​

Mr. Adams thinks that since everyone is in attendance, which might not be the case tomorrow, the Ordinance should be signed while every last member is present.
 
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#83
The discussion on when to make the Ordinance official continues after Inglis finishes, and a couple of interesting mindsets jumped out at me.
View attachment 295310

McCrady has no desire to hide the secession proceedings:

Mr. McCRADY. Mr. President, I will remark that this act of ours should be done in broad daylight, before all our citizens: it ought to be proclaimed in Columbia as well as in Charleston; in the Capital as well as in the city. It should be done to-morrow, at 12 o'clock. We do not march, as they do at the North, in torchlight processions, and do what we do openly.​

Mr. Keitt looks to the future, just like Inglis. These men are concerned about posterity, and how their actions will be viewed.
Mr. KEITT. Mr. President, I trust that motion will not prevail. I think we can perform this ceremony much better to-morrow than to-night. It is very well known that very many members did not sign the Declaration of Independence until two or three weeks after that Declaration had been written and made public. Many of them signed it between the 10th and 15th of July. I do not see, if the act is already consummated to-day, how we can lose anything by ratifying it to-morrow. Sir, we are performing a great act which involving not only the stirring present, but embracing the whole great future of the ages to come. I have been engaged in this movement ever since I have entered political life. I am content with what has been done to-day, and content with what will take place to-morrow. I would have preferred to have adopted the resolution of the gentleman from Richland, and have adjourned afterwards. We have carried the body of this Union to its last resting place, and now we will drop the flag over its grave. After that is done, I am ready to adjourn and leave the remaining ceremonies for to-morrow.​

Mr. Adams thinks that since everyone is in attendance, which might not be the case tomorrow, the Ordinance should be signed while every last member is present.
Or, more importantly they don't want second thoughts and doubts changing VOTES, did they!:whistling:

Kevin Dally
 
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#84
Or, more importantly they don't want second thoughts and doubts changing VOTES, did they!:whistling:

Kevin Dally
I can't read minds. There is certainly a "strike while the iron is hot" mentality running through this convention. The fact that South Carolina was, ultimately, the only state that was unanimous in the vote for secession probably tells us something about the commitment level of the delegates. Every other state had some level of dissent, SC did not.
 
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#85
I can't read minds. There is certainly a "strike while the iron is hot" mentality running through this convention. The fact that South Carolina was, ultimately, the only state that was unanimous in the vote for secession probably tells us something about the commitment level of the delegates. Every other state had some level of dissent, SC did not.
I...wonder how many of those Delegates actually shouldered a musket in the ranks?

Kevin Dally
 
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#87
What has that to do with the day-by-day goings on at the convention?
Thinking out loud, I find Andersonh1 actually brought up a point I had never thought of, the unanimity of the votes from everyone. I was wondering if any of the signers actually fought in the ranks afterwards, sort of a "they put their money where their mouth was". I know Texas had several signers fight, Gen John Gregg coming to mind.
Just a thought.

Kevin Dally
 

CSA Today

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#89
I can't read minds. There is certainly a "strike while the iron is hot" mentality running through this convention. The fact that South Carolina was, ultimately, the only state that was unanimous in the vote for secession probably tells us something about the commitment level of the delegates. Every other state had some level of dissent, SC did not.
Hurrah for South Carolina. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
 
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#91
I have been neglecting this thread for other projects, but hopefully I can get this back on track. I'm not sure how far into the convention I'll go. Certainly through the passage of the Ordinance of Secession, and possibly through the discussion and finalizing of the two documents listing causes of secession.

Continuing the discussion on when and how to vote on the ordinance of secession:
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#92
What follows is long and difficult to break up, but it becomes a discussion about how much of the laws of the United States will still be in effect after the Ordinance of secession has passed. It begins with concerns over customs and mail.

- Mr. Dunkin proposes giving the power to appoints customs officers and postmasters to the governor, areas formerly under the authority of the federal government
- ".... what you have done to-day is extinguished the authority of every man in South Carolina, deriving that authority from the commission of the General Government."
- it is suggested that the proper committee should discuss this rather than the full convention.

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Maxcy Gregg begins to speak, and his concern is whether or not the postal and duty laws remain in effect after secession, and if not, how will this be dealt with? I'll break this discussion up into several sections.

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Mr. MIDDLETON. Mr. President, it appears to me that although this body has appointed a Committee, it is perfectly proper to act now. It is necessary that this body should act, and act speedily, and I for one tender my thanks to the member who has placed this matter before the body. In order to carry out that idea, it was suggested that the Ordinance should not take effect for some three or four days, during which period the present system could be replaced by an organization of your own. Hence, sir, it is necessary that this body should act, and I trust sir, that it will act and reassure the public mind on this subject.

Hence, sir, it becomes necessary for this body to act, and I trust, sir, that this body will act, and assure the public mind on this subject. Now, Mr. President, it is presumptuous in me, sir, to say that I differ in opinion, but I am obliged to say so, with the honorable gentleman from Charleston. It is certain that this Act of Secession is effective until consummation? The act before you is not consummated before its ratification. I submit this with great deference. I am sorry to presume to differ. But on this occasion I am obliged in the most respectful and deferential manner to differ from him. I must submit to this body that there may be a difference of opinion on this subject.

Mr. SEABROOK. I move, sir, that the Ordinance be referred to the Committee on Commercial Arrangements.

Mr. MAXCY GREGG. I think that the adoption of this Ordinance will require serious consideration. I fear that if adopted in the form now placed before us, we shall commit a serious error in our course. I understand the Ordinance to provide that, till legislation on the subject, the Governor shall appoint collectors and other officers. A collector of what? - of duties upon imports? What duties of imports after the State of South Carolina has abrogated the laws of the United States? Are the revenue laws still of force? I think not! They all fall instantly to the ground. Then there must be legislation by the General Assembly of South Carolina, or if this body shall assume the power, then by the Convention. There are no duties to collect - no officers to charge with such duties. The laws of the United States are not still of force. It might be, Mr. President, of great importance to pass an Ordinance upon this subject at once; - this, however, will require some consideration. If allowed by the Convention, I will suggest an amendment, which I think may possibly obviate the difficulty. I will read it. Strike out all from the beginning, and insert as follows - "We, the people of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, do ordain and declare that, till otherwise provided for by the General Assembly, the importation of merchandise in this State shall be free and unrestricted; and it shall be the duty of the Governor to make such temporary arrangements as may be requisite for entries, exits, etc."

The PRESIDENT. The amendment of the gentleman is not in order.

Mr. GREGG. I merely offered it as a suggestion.

The PRESIDENT. The question is on committing the Ordinance.

Mr. CHEVES. It appears to me that the gentleman from Columbia has hit on a very important point. The gentleman is right in saying that there has been an immense chasm made in the laws. We have no time to consider how that chasm may be filled, but for the good of the people it is necessary to close it in a temporary manner - in the most temporary manner possible. By the motion of the gentleman, everything shall be as it is now, until further provided for. We can provide for it to-morrow, or this afternoon. But our mail, our custom house, everything shall be stopped, and a much more serious question - the question of free trade - must be considered. But before this, the power of motion will be given to society; once given, where will it stop?

Mr. MAXCY GREGG. I take it that there is no law on the collection of duties in South Carolina now. We are out of the Union, or, if it is necessary to wait until 7 o'clock, we shall be out of the Union then. There will be, then, no law for the collection of duties. But if it be necessary to make temporary laws, I am entirely unwilling to adopt the laws of the United States. The tariff is that which our fathers have been fighting forty years. We are now free from it, and I am not willing to be under it one hour longer. I do not understand the Ordinance to propose that the tariff laws of the United States shall be of force in this State. It appears to me, on the contrary, that the Ordinance merely assumes that there are some laws of force, although we have withdrawn from the Union, and declared those laws no longer binding upon us, and it would be a grave error to adopt that Ordinance. Now, a word in reference to our postal arrangements. The whole system has fallen to the ground, and, although I am willing to vote for temporary arrangements to provide for the convenience of the people, I think an Ordinance may be drawn up from the main matters in regard to the postage until the Legislature can act. I therefore submit the following: "Until otherwise provided for, it shall be the duty of the Governor to appoint postmasters and make such arrangements as may be necessary for the transportation of the mails, having due respect to the mail laws of the United States." For this reason, Mr. President, I am willing to vote at once, and I second the motion to refer the whole matter to the Committee on Commercial Arrangements.

Mr. HAYNE. I would say a word, Mr. President, with a view to remove the difficulties suggested by the gentleman from Richland. I do not think that the acts by which we have dissolved the connection with the Federal Government, annul and abrogate all laws passed by the Congress of the United States. The Government of the United States is no longer our Government, but till the Ordinance of Secession was passed, the Congress was a recognized Government, and a Government having authority to impose laws for the State of South Carolina, and the laws passed by that Congress are still laws, so far as they are at all compatible with our present situation. It is one of the most solemn duties before us to discriminate what laws shall continue to be of force. The simple act of Secession does not abrogate the entire body of laws. As every lawyer knows, we have laws that have not been formally recognized since our separation from Great Britain, that became laws while we were so connected - also laws which were made by a Provincial Governor and his Privy Counsellor - and these laws still continue within the limits of South Carolina, and I do not know why it should be otherwise. The Ordinance has not abrogated the laws, but our connection with the United States.

Mr. GREGG. I would not, at this time, undertake the general question whether any laws of the United States remain of force after our secession, but will confine myself to the laws on the revenues and post offices. The laws of Congress for the collection of revenue are for the support of the Federal Government at Washington. Are these laws still able to be in existence, after our connection with that Government has been dissolved? How are these revenues to be applied, and by whom are they to be collected and applied in South Carolina? No! They all fell when the Ordinance of Secession passed.
 
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Mr. MILES. It appears to me that we need not have much difference on this subject. There is no doubt but that this body will have to take up many questions in reference to post office and revenues. What is our condition? We have just severed our connection with the confederated Government; and by that act, strictly and properly, we have no connection with the confederated States; and any kind of obligation resting upon us to observe the laws of that government, except so far as we may ourselves choose temporarily to continue those laws. Now, sir, we must remember that, as a body of men, holding the peace, holding the security, the material welfare, of the Commonwealth of which we are sons, if I may so express it, in the hollow of our hands, that we must resolve immediately into a body of logical speculators, or metaphysical reasoners, or even strictly the bodi obduris. Sir, we are acting now in a much larger and higher capacity. We are not merely dealing with fears, with arguments. It is with reason, following it out to its natural and logical consequences; but we are dealing with stern facts; present realities; and therefore it behooves us, the very first thing we do, after making ourselves a separate and independent State, to prevent confusion, to prevent anarchy, to prevent the derangement of the ordinary course of business, of trade - of everything in which the prosperity of our people involved? Now, sir, how is that most readily to be accomplished? WE have taken possession of our own house. We find in it servants that we winding jointly with us by those who were co-tenants. We have come here suddenly, under a new arrangement, taking the habitation to ourselves, acknowledging no control in any manner, either in its laws, its material, its arrangements, its offices, or its servants. But must we not at first - however short be the time - must we not at first see to those servants, until further orders are given. We may give those further orders in a day, or in an hour; but until those further orders are given, things must remain in statu quo. Everything is in confusion.

Now, sir, I feel no difficulty about that Ordinance. I am willing to vote for the one offered by the gentleman from Richland. I confess my mind has been sorely exercised on these points - the difficulties involved in the matter of custom house and postal arrangements. And while the logical difficulties seem to me to be such that logic cannot solve, the practical difficulty seems to me to be one that common sense cannot. Now, so far as the dignity, honor, and consistency of our position is concerned, surely my friend from Richland will not doubt that when he gives the government authority to appoint officers to discharge those certain duties indicated, that we do everything that the dignity and sovereignty of the State requires. We no longer recognize the officers designated as officers owing allegiance to the Federal Government at Washington. We no longer recognize the officers of the Federal Government as such, but constitute them our officers to discharge temporarily, under the same general provisions, the same habitual routine of duty which they have hitherto been discharging as Federal officers. Now, what is the real objection to them? Can we not, at any time, repeal such laws as we desire no longer to have? for I must say that I do not believe with my friend from Richland, that the act of secession, on our part, abrogates the force of every federal law.

Mr. MAXCY GREGG. I have not said that, Mr. President. I have said -

The PRESIDENT. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. MILES. Certainly.

Mr. MAXCY GREGG. I have said that it abrogates the laws as far as the collection of revenue and the postal arrangements are concerned.

Mr. MILES. But I am not quite sure of that, Mr. President. I repeat, we must deal with this thing as practical men. Now, sir, take an illustration. Suppose two nations are at war, and that at its termination new boundaries are to be established, and that there is cession from one nation of a portion of its territory to the other. The instant the territory is ceded the right of the enemy is transferred to the nation to whom the territory is ceded; but do you not know that time is given in which to allow the forces to withdraw? It is not considered derogatory to the dignity of any nation that time should be allowed to the enemy to withdraw their forces; to allow the inhabitants to return, or to remove their officers. Why, sir, if we carry this thing out to its strictly logical bearing, the very instant that the act of separation takes place, we must have the stillness of death; we must be, as it were, stricken with absolute paroxysm. It is not possible, sir, in a great revolution like this, which we have inaugurated, suddenly, by a stroke, in an instant of time, to change, absolutely and utterly, every previous existing relation. The thing cannot be done. But to recur to that of which I was before speaking. What is the objection to this acting? What injury is to follow to the State? What injury in reputation? Why, sir, I think we shall have an increased reputation. For, while acting to aptly in severing these ties, such a course will show that we are not governed by undue haste, but, on the contrary, that we have looked at these things as practical statesmen; as men grappling at the real difficulties which surround us, and calmly, fearlessly and deliberately meeting them.

Sir, to resume the illustration I before introduced, suppose a partnership concern is dissolved by one of the parties retiring; how is he to secede? Does he say, I brought in with me this store, or this, that and the other - and, therefore, I will take such away; or "I deposited a certain amount of money, and , therefore, intend to go and withdraw my share of the common fund?" For, sir, the firm proceed to wind up their affairs. The world knows the partnership no longer exists. There is no longer any obligation. The partner who retires is no longer bound by those who remain. The affairs are settled up by their mutual agents.

Now, take these two views. The officers holding over under the Federal authorities hitherto, may be considered as mutual agents acting for us, because we now so empower them; and the General Government, with which we have nothing to do, may choose to consider them as their deputized agents. But the supreme authority over them is vested in us. It is, for the time being, the closing of a previously existing partnership. In order to wind it up as speedily as possible, let us fix the time; let us say two months, or two weeks, in which their accounts are to be wound up; and then, by that time, we may have digested and matured the whole matter, and put our own new machinery, it may be entirely different machinery, into operation
 
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#95
Great, almost up to the point where Keitt advocates of the ordinance of secession because it states the primacy of slavery as the reason for secession, and that the majority of the assemblage had voted for the current tariffs and secession could not be advocated on that course. :D
 
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#96
It's interesting that so far, the vast majority of conversation is about state sovereignty and how to fill the void left when the federal government is no longer recognized in South Carolina. There is quote a bit of talk about procedural issues, which I have not bothered to transcribe. Tariffs and slavery get some mention, but neither has dominated the conversation up to this point.

Now what we don't have here are the committee meetings, so who knows how the conversations went there?
 
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#97
It's interesting that so far, the vast majority of conversation is about state sovereignty and how to fill the void left when the federal government is no longer recognized in South Carolina. There is quote a bit of talk about procedural issues, which I have not bothered to transcribe. Tariffs and slavery get some mention, but neither has dominated the conversation up to this point.

Now what we don't have here are the committee meetings, so who knows how the conversations went there?
We certainly don't have them en toto.

However, the explicit Ordinance of Secession committee debate was recorded by the Charleston Courier, and there's a web page containing them at Furman University.

If you mean outside of this debate, fair enough, but there is at least the chamber discussion.

http://history.furman.edu/benson/docs/scdebate1.htm
http://history.furman.edu/benson/docs/scdebate2.htm
 
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#98
We certainly don't have them en toto.

However, the explicit Ordinance of Secession committee debate was recorded by the Charleston Courier, and there's a web page containing them at Furman University.

If you mean outside of this debate, fair enough, but there is at least the chamber discussion.

http://history.furman.edu/benson/docs/scdebate1.htm
http://history.furman.edu/benson/docs/scdebate2.htm
I think both of those links are the open floor debate like the proceedings the Charleston Mercury covered and that I've been posting. But I believe committees prepared the Ordinance of Secession, Declaration of Causes and Address to the Slaveholding States, and then presented them to the full convention for debate, and it is those committee proceedings I'd like to see. Do you have a link to what the Charleston Courier covered? I'd really like to read that.
 



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