20 December 2008

December 20, 1860 : South Carolina Secedes

148 years ago today, 169 delegates sat in Charleston's Institute Hall deciding whether or not South Carolina could and should leave the United States of America. Representing Beaufort District were Langdon Cheves, Jr.; George Rhodes; Richard James Davant; Ephraim Mikell Seabrook; John Edward Frampton; William Ferguson Hutson; Joseph Daniel Pope; and, Robert Woodward Barnwell. All these men -- indeed all the delegates present at the Secession Convention -- voted in favor of secession and signed the state's Ordinance of Secession.

The issue of secession still inflames the hearts and minds of many people. Was the action of the Secession Convention "legal?"

As part of the 11th grade curriculum provided by The Civil War Preservation Trust in partnership with the History Channel, Kent Masterston Brown examines the question in "Secession: A Constitutional Remedy for the Breach of the Organic Law," pages 8 - 16.

For additional library materials about Secessionists and Unionists from South Carolina, go to the "Recommended Reading" section of our Beaufort County Library web site. In the "Local Notables," you'll find bibliographies on Robert Barnwell Rhett, Robert Woodward Barnwell, and William John Grayson. -- gmc

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