The final indignity was authored by one of those very men, Francis Pickens, the state’s newly installed governor. Pickens, a portly, bewigged owner of more than 400 slaves, and an ardent secessionist (“I would be willing to appeal to the god of battles, if need be, to cover the state with ruin, conflagration and blood, rather than submit,” is a recent quote), is nominally a friend of the president. He wrote Buchanan a letter, saying, “I am authentically informed that the forts in Charleston harbor are now being thoroughly prepared to turn, with effect, their guns upon the interior and the city.”
I just don’t see how this latest issue can be resolved without bloodshed. I’m afraid Pickens quote is going to turn out to be quite prescient.
This ongoing NYT series is a lot of fun.
UPDATE: This ongoing bullshit is not.
On December 20, 1960, South Carolina’s Ordinance of Secession was signed by 169 men and the state became the first to formally leave the United States. Abraham Lincoln famously responded that the secession would not stand, and four months later the first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter, South Carolina.
To commemorate the secession, a small ceremony was held on Monday at the spot where the declaration was signed, and a new historical marker was dedicated.
“It’s undeniable that these men sought to preserve the institution of slavery,” Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, who is white, said of those who signed the document.
“You’re a Liar,” an unidentified bystander shouted at Riley.
Riley continued: “Slavery is mentioned in the Declaration of Immediate Causes for secession 31 times. There can be no celebration in the recording of this moment.”
Nothing like a sesquicentennial to bring out the best in people.