South Carolina Secession Declaration Debate

(Transcribed by Ben Barnhill, Furman University, from the Charleston, South Carolina, Courier, Dec. 22, 1860.)


Monday, December 22 (Fifth Day of the State Convention.)

Mr. RHETT then moved that the report of the Committee on the Address to the Southern People be read.

Agreed to.

Mr. RHETT then read the Address. [In accord with the request of the Convention we have postponed publication until officially authorized to do so by the Convention.]

Mr. CARN moved that the report be printed and made the special order, of Saturday at one o'clock.

Mr. MAZYCK moved to amend by saying Monday at one o'clock.

The PRESIDENT. The question will first be on making it the special order for Saturday at one o'clock.

Mr. POPE moved that the report be printed, but not reported until the final action of the Convention upon it.

Mr. A.H. BROWN seconded the motion.

Mr. GADBERRY moved to lay that motion upon the table.

Judge WARDLAW. I move to divide the question. The only object of that motion is that the able address may not be murdered. It is important that this address should not go forth to the world, until it has been sanctioned by the Convention.

The PRESIDENT. The question is on the motion to lay on the table.

The question being taken, the President announced that the noes had it.

A VOICE exclaimed: The ayes are not satisfied.

Mr. SIMONS. I understood the motion to be that the address should not be circulated. The address might be telegraphed to all parts of the country, but perhaps not in the precise form. This matter has been already before the Convention. We cannot tell what may be put in the public journals, as the Reporters present have, no doubt, already noted it down.

Mr. POPE. There are Reporters here, and I made my motion in order that this address might not go forth until officially authorized by the Convention. If published in the daily journals, this address would go forth precisely as it is now, and if the address be amended, no one would read that adopted by the Convention after they had read the first publication. I am only anticipating that contigency.

Mr. MEMMINGER. The gentleman's desire has been that this report be printed, and that every member have a copy, but that the Reporters should not print it in their papers. The gentleman might have amended his motion by saying that it be requested of the Reporters not to put it in their papers. I do not see how we can avoid its being reported after it has been read without the motion being put that way.

Mr. POPE. I accept the amendment of my friend from Charleston.

Mr. MEMMINGER. I hope then the gentleman (Mr. Gadberry) will withdraw his motion to lay on the table, and that the simple request be made of the Reporters that it shall not be published in the public journals.

Mr. GADBERRY. The suggestion meets my views exactly. My motion was to prevent its circulation, and I will withdraw my motion in expectation that the mover of the resolution will accept the amendment, that the Reporters and Editors of newspapers will not publish it.

Mr. McCRADY. It appears to me that there is great propriety that the address should not go out until sanctioned by the Convention.

Mr. HARLEE. There exists no good reason why that should not go out as the Report of the Committee. There are none of them circulated as yet, but they are to be printed and laid upon the table. Whatever direction the Convention may take with the report, whether amended or otherwise, the present report might be published as the Report of the Committee on the Address.

The PRESIDENT. The question will be on the adoption of the resolution requesting the Reporters not to publish it in the papers.

The motion was agreed to.

The question then recurred on making it the Special Order for to-morrow at 1 o'clock. Agreed to.