Saturday, December 18, 2010


18 December 1860

The News from Columbia.
Opening of the State Convention--Gen. Jamison,
President-Inaugural of Governor
Pickens--The Adjournment
to Charleston,
etc., etc.

Gentlemen of the Senate and
Gov. Francis Wilkinson Pickens
(Library of Congress)
House of Representatives;
". . . The Constitution is a compact between co-States. and not with the Federal Government. On questions vital, and involving the peace and safety of the parties to the compact, from the very nature of the instrument, each State must judge of the mode and measure of protection of her local and domestic institutions. South Carolina will therefore decide for herself, and will, as she has a right to do, resume her original powers of government as an independent State, and, as such, will negotiate with other powers such treaties, leagues or covenants, as she may deem proper. . . .
. . . There is one thing certain, and I think it due to the country to say in advance, that South Carolina is resolved to assert her separate independence, and, as she acceded separately to the compact of Union, so she will most assuredly secede, separately and alone, be the consequences what they may; and I think it right to say, with no unkind feeling whatever, that on this point there can be no compromise, let it be offered from where it may. The issues are too grave, and too momentous, to admit of any counsel that looks to anything but direct and straight-forward independence. . . .
". . . It is our sincere desire to separate from the States of the North in peace, and leave them to develop their own civilization, according to their own sense of duty and of interest. But if, under the guidance of ambition and fanaticism, they decide otherwise, then be it so. We are prepared for any event, and, in humble reliance upon that Providence who presides over the destiny of men and of nations, we well endeavor to do our duty faithfully, bravely and honestly.
     "I am now ready to take the oath of office and swear undivided allegiance to South Carolina."
Francis Wilkinson Pickens, governor

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