The South Carolina Secession convention, day by day

demiurge

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
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.

The successor to the Courier, the Post and Courier, has an online archive. It really was 4 different newspapers over the years. The Charleston Courier debuted in 1803, but they only have digitized the archive since 1859. Fortunately, that's the time period you want. :D

http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=HA-PC&p_theme=histpaper&p_action=keyword

You'll need to create an account. I haven't checked this one out yet, my comments were based on the transcripts posted on Furman, but as so often the case these days vast amounts of the civil war documentation is now online. Have fun!
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
But, what exactly does Rhett report about what SC was saying and doing at the Democratic Party National Convention, in April of 1860, in Charleston, SC?

That was when, and where, the original secessionist states first practiced to secede.
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
But, what exactly does Rhett report about what SC was saying and doing at the Democratic Party National Convention, in April of 1860, in Charleston, SC?

That was when, and where, the original secessionist states first practiced to secede.

South Carolina held a convention to consider secession in 1852, which they referenced in the 1860 Declaration of Causes, leading me to believe that is the more relevant precedent.
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
South Carolina held a convention to consider secession in 1852, which they referenced in the 1860 Declaration of Causes, leading me to believe that is the more relevant precedent.



Perhaps, but, in the context of the entire ante-bellum period, it seems to me that secession was always on the lips of southern oligarchs and politicians, as a poliitical threayt to get their own way in Congress. In Chaleston, in 1860, it was not a ploy, they meant business, the practicre of kicking the slavery/secession can down the road, was not goint to fly with them this time. The Deocratic Party, in partiicular would come down solidly on the protection of slavery and expansion, or there would definitely be secession.
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
The next subject of debate is largely about the cost and effectiveness of the postal system. with Mr. Mazyck expressing the belief that the public system would not be missed if it were gone, and a private postal service would be better and less expensive.

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Mr. CHESNUT. Mr. President, this subject of the adoption of the Ordinance now under consideration presents two questions to my mind - the question of power, and the question of duty. Now, sir, I will not stop to debate whether, by the act of secession of South Carolina, all the laws which have been passed by Congress become null and void; but I will, for a few moments, engage your attention in discussing other and higher questions.

The first is: Whether this Convention, which represents the sovereignty of the State, the whole power of the people, has not the power to put in operation, for a time, if it sees proper, such machinery, to breathe the breath of life into such laws as they may choose, to prevent discord falling upon the State. Now, sir, I apprehend that there is no member of this body who will not concede, at once, that it will be found expedient, if it is necessary, to preserve our people from a chaotic condition, that we should for a moment, until we have tried to make other and better arrangements, continue such in force as may save us from these calamities. There is no member here, I think, who will deny that we have the power so to act.

Then, sir, the second question necessarily arises: Is it the duty of the Convention to take such a step? I hold that it is the highest duty of this body to pursue just such a course as is proposed in the Ordinance now submitted for our consideration. You have now cut the State entirely off. Would you leave her to drift without a chart or purpose? Will you dismantle her of every possible arrangement? Will you turn loose all her officers, and all her men? Leave the ship to drift over a thousand breakers, which no man can at this moment foresee? No! I am satisfied, Mr. President, that the Convention will come to a different conclusion. There is no loss of dignity; there is no surrender of power, when you take that position which will prevent our people from unexpected and irrevocable injury. If that be our conclusion, sir, I throw out this idea: that it is our duty to adopt some such Ordinance, and none better has occurred to my mind.

Mr. MAZYCK. Mr. President, it appears to me that the true difficulty lies here. By the Ordinance of Secession which we have adopted this morning, we have repealed all the laws for the collection of revenues, for the supply of the future government in South Carolina. But what then follows, Mr. President? The Ordinance offered by the Delegate from Charleston proposes to appoint collectors. Why, those collectors would have no duties to perform. There is no revenue to collect - nothing for the collector to do. And if you are going to adopt such a revenue as the one proposed, you will have to precede it by a revenue re-establishing the laws by which the collector is authorized to collect duties on imports in South Carolina. Until you do that there is no duty for him to perform. Before you appoint to an office, you must establish the office and provide the duty. So much, Mr. President, for the collector.

Well, now, as to the Postmaster. The whole post office establishment now, that South Carolina has seceded, I apprehend, goes with the government. We have disposed of the government to-day, and the whole post office establishment in this city is swept off. Well, now, is it proposed to re-establish it by this ordinance? Is this Convention prepared to adopt a system which it is notorious costs a great deal more than it brings in? I understand - for I have no accurate information obtained by my own efforts on the subject - that the expenditures of the post office system of this city exceed the revenue from it some $50,000. Well, now, is this Convention prepared to adopt that extravagant expenditure of what is supposed to be essential to the condition of the people?

Mr. President, it has been my opinion for many years - and it is a subject to which I have given some attention - it has been opinion for many years, that a public post office establishment is a public nuisance, and I shall rejoice to see the whole post office establishment abolished; I have not the least doubt if there was not a public post office at all, that the public would be better served by private enterprise than they are at present. What is it, after all, but a business of carrying letters instead of something else? It is true that if left to private enterprise, no uniform rate of postage could be established; but it would be respecting the carriage of letters as it is in everything else. You would have to pay as much as it cost to do that service, and something as compensation. In some cases I have no doubt the postage would be lessened. Take, for example, the transportation of letters between such cities as New York and Philadelphia. Does any one doubt but that letters could be carried, and with profit, at one cent instead of three? I conceive not. I see no reason at all why this business of carrying letters should not be left to private enterprise. I am sure it would be better done. I have no doubt that if it were announced here to-day that the post office at Charleston was closed, and that there was no way of sending letters by the public mails from Charleston to New York, that before to-morrow morning there would be individuals advertising that they would undertake to carry the letters to New York; and so it would be in every part of the State on all the mail routes. This post office monopoly has actually prevented private enterprise from undertaking such a thing; there is even an enactment prohibiting it. I do think that we are giving ourselves a great deal too much uneasiness on this subject. I believe that if our whole postal arrangements were broken up, that the matter would adjust itself, and that more expeditious and safer means of transportation would be formed.
 
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