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TO CAROLINA FAMILY ROOTS. Thanks for reading and commenting about my blog postings. My goal is to accurately document the genealogy of my family and allied families living in Chesterfield County, SC and Anson County, NC. If you have a Chesterfield County surname you are interested in please send me an e-mail.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Chesterfield, SC – Home of Succession

Pin It Headlines from the Cheraw Correspondent for “The Charleston Mercury,” November 23, 1860, front page, clearly shows that Chesterfield County held the first secession meeting on Thursday, November 15th, 1860.

The has been an item of interest because Abbeville, South Carolina has claimed the “First in Secession” title based on a succession meeting held there on November 22, 1860.[1] This newspaper article clearly shows that Chesterfield held their secession meeting 7 days prior to the secession meeting in Abbeville, South Carolina.

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Our Cheraw Correspondents
Cheraw, November 19
The State of Public Feeling in Chesterfield, etc.
“Knowing the deep solicitude you and many of your readers feel in the movements of the people of the State at this momentous period, I hasten to inform you and them of the events in Chesterfield in the last few days.
Last Thursday was parade day for the upper battalion. There was quite a large turnout. After the parade, the people were addressed by the Hon. J. W. BLAKENEY, our Senator and by our Representatives Colonels MACFARLAN and PRINCE, and also by Col. S. JACKSON. At the close of Col. JACKSON’S speech he submitted the question of submission, or of resistance by immediate Secession, to a vote of the battalion; upon requesting all in favor of the latter to advance four paces, the whole battalion advanced four paces, leaving not a solitary man for submission. The course of our Senator and Representatives was unanimously and most enthusiastically endorsed.
Saturday last was parade day for the lower battalion. I had the pleasure of being present. The same speakers with Major A. McQUEEN and F. M. McIVER, Esq., addressed the people. The speeches were received with enthusiastic applause. After the speaking the military and spectators were requested, if they approved of the action of the Legislature in calling a Convention, to make their approbation known by advancing four paces to the front; a unanimous forward movement was the response. Immediate separate secession, and a Southern Confederacy were vociferously demanded.
At both the upper and lower battalion the lone star flag graced the fields.
I this evening returned from our Court House, where one of the largest meetings ever assembled in the District was held today. The object of the meeting was to nominate candidates for delegates to the convention. The meeting was organized by the appointment of Hon. J. W. BLAKENEY Chairman, a committee of twenty-four, three from each beat, were appointed to nominate a ticket, the Committee retired, and after due deliberation returned, having unanimously agreed upon a ticket, and reported the following ticket:
During the absence of the committee, the meeting was most ably addressed by Cols. PRINCE and MACFARLAN. At the conclusion of Col. MACFARLAN’S remarks, the committee made their report, whereupon the nominees were severally called out in the following order: COL. JACKSON, H. McIVER and Chancellor INGLIS. All the nominees, in the most emphatic language, declared themselves in favor of immediate separated secession. The whole question was fully discussed in a clear and forcible manner, and with a clear and forcible manner, and with a fervency and eloquence that could only have been inspired by a due sense of its vast importance. At the conclusion of the speeches of the nominees, the nomination was submitted to a vote of the meeting, and it was unanimously concurred in. The Honorable J. W. BLAKENEY, Col. A. M. LOWERY, and Gen. E. B.C. CASH were then called upon to address the meeting. Their remarks, though brief, were to the appoint. They fully endorsed the action of the Legislature in calling a Convention, believing the immediate separate secession was the only remedy, and that nothing short of that could save the honor, and protect the rights and interests of the State.
The meeting was not only one of the largest and most enthusiastic, but also one of the most harmonious ever held in the District. The people, including beardless youths and gray-headed grandfathers, were eager and interested listeners from an early hour in the day till a late hour in the evening; and for the first time in my recollection a goodly number of the fair sex graced, with their interesting presence and encouraging smiles, a political meeting in Chesterfield District.
The ticket nominated will certainly be elected without opposition. For talent, integrity and firmness of purpose it will not be surpassed by that of any other District. Our delegates will represent a District that is a unit in opposition to Black Republican domination and in favor of immediate State secession. Indeed we have but one party in the District.
Ex-Senator CHESNUT and Mr. MULLINS of Marion, among others, were invited to attend and address the meeting, and our people were greatly disappointed that neither attended.
A neatly gotten up flag of medium size, having on it a Palmetto tree with a rattlesnake coiled around it, with its rattles sprung and in the attitude of striking, a lone star in one corner, and the inscription, "Immediate State Action," floated over the public square. After the adjournment of the meeting the whole concourse of ladies and gentlemen assembled under it, and saluted it with three deafening cheers.
Altogether it was one of old Chesterfield’s most glorious days. Her citizens a unit in their stern resolve to resist to the death the domination of Black Republican fanaticism -- to die free rather than to live slaves."
[The Charleston Mercury, Nov. 23, 1860, Front page, Column 3].[2]

In this newspaper article, we find that two meetings were held; one on Thursday (15th) by the Upper Battalion and another meeting on Saturday (17th) by the Lower Battalion


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Secession Rock, Chesterfield Court House, SC

The stone reads “First Succession Meeting – Chesterfield Courthouse -- November 19, 1860.”
On the back of this stone is written “Dedicated by U.D.C’s of Chesterfield County to the Brave Men, Devoted Women and Faithful Slaves ’61 – ’65.”

In Summary:
“The Charleston Mercury” published on Friday, November 23, 1860 states that the Secession vote was taken LAST THURSAY.
The unnamed reporter wrote his byline, after the meeting, datelined - Cheraw, November 19, The State of Public Feeling in Chesterfield, etc…
“In the second paragraph the reporter states: “Last Thursday… There was quite a large turnout. After the parade, the people were addressed by the Hon. J. W. BLAKENEY, our Senator and by our Representatives Colonels MACFARLAN and PRINCE, and also by Col. S. JACKSON. At the close of Col. JACKSON’S speech he submitted the question of submission, or of resistance by immediate Secession, to a vote of the battalion; … The course of our Senator and Representatives was unanimously and most enthusiastically endorsed.
The 19th of November 1860 was a Monday, a week prior to publication of “The Charleston Mercury” on 23 November 1860, the following Friday. The Thursday prior to Monday the 19th of November would put the date of the Parade and Meeting as taking place on November 15, 1860.
 
Calendar, Nov 1860
  

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbeville,_South_Carolina
[2] “The State of Public Feeling in Chesterfield, etc.”, The Charleston Mercury, Charleston, South Carolina, November 23, 1860, Front Page, Column 3.
[3] Note: I have a copy of the entire newspaper article and the above transcription is an accurate transcription of that article.
































2 comments:

  1. WHEW! You had me worried about this Charlie! BUT, now there is PROOF that Chesterfield had the first meeting(s). GREAT FIND! You and your Carolina Family Roots Blog are amazing! Keep up the excellent work! AND, enjoy that SNOW!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sharon,

    I had some great help from a wonderful lady named "Dot" at the Charleston County Public Library.

    Charlie

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