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was the last place he should have gone to. It was the common thoroughfare, and already in full possession of, and garrisoned by, the British. In this escape, there is a farther (apparent) contradiction. 66 When I came to the ferry [Which ferry? All those over the Ashley, implied the use of a Neck road?] I was a little dubious (jubous ?] about taking one of the skiffs that was hauled up, etc., so I slipped off my shoes, etc, and swam the river. I must have made some splashing in the water, although I tried to muffle my vars, etc.” Of course, this must be taken figuratively, or did our hero really roll up his arms in bandages of moss and blanket ? or, still figuratively, does he mean, by muffling his oars, keeping his tongue? To put an oar in, as we know, is, idiomatically, to dip into the conference without being solicited.
These are all small matters, that do not impair, in any material degree, the merit of the story ; but they are such as we could have wished had been pruned up and cleared away by our author, when revising for the library, and for more deliberate perusal, the handsome reprint before us. We pass to another matter, of more serious importance, in a historical point of view.
At the opening of the twelfth chapter of the novel, the author gives us a summary of events in South-Carolina, prior to the revolution, and during its progress, the correctness of which we more than question. It has, of late years, been quite the practice, in certain quarters of the country, to disparage the share which South-Carolina took in the assertion of the izdependence of the colonies. Her course, in recent politics, has given such offence to parties throughout the country, that it has seemed good to many, and agreeable to more, to show that hers was always a wrong-headed region ; perverse, unperforming, and perhaps deserving of censure in those very respects in which her sons have flattered themselves that their claims to deference and regard were least questionable. In respect to party, it is quite sufficient that South-Carolina has, for many years, refused to seek and to share its spoils, to account for, if not to justify, this hostility. Among rogues, he is, perhaps, always a suspicious character, who rejects his share of the plunder; since his forbearance, particularly if his scruples are of a virtuous nature, are justly offensive to those who do not suffer from like
misgivings of the conscience. But there is another offence of which South-Carolina has been guilty, and for which it is not possible for her to make atonement. Somehow, through this very revolution, she has acquired a capital of sectional character, which stands second to none of the States
this continent. Hers have been the bloodiest battle-fields of the revolution, and it is among her sons that the chivalrous and ardent spirits of our country find their best models of heroism. Her Marion, Sumter, Pickens, Laurens and others, in the field; her Rutledges, Lowndes, Calhouns, in the council; these are recognized contributions to the common stock of national character, which challenge comparison with any region, and defy the claims of most. To escape the recognition of these claims is impossible, and the policy seems now to be to recognize them at the expense of her people, as a whole. They are to be honoured as examples, rari nantes in gurgite vasto, where all besides is vacancy and wastea duli, monotonous region, either stagnating and senseless, or in feverish disturbance from gales and storms of eccentric passions. Unfortunately, so imperfectly have our histories been written, with so little research, so little reflection or philosophy, and with details so partially given, that it is quite easy to err with those who never study, and still more easy to misunderstand and misinterpret with those who are wilful. The general reliance, at this day, is upon a class of historians who wrote at a period when the chronicles were unavailable to their use, except in particular localities, and who wrote mostly from the representations of those who could report individual facts rather than truths—while the proper history requires the grouping of the several facts, in just relation to each other, out of which the philosopher extracts the truth, and the historian properly records it. No region has suffered more injustice from such imperfect chronicles than SouthCaro'ina-than the South at large--and the evil is naturally increased, when it is found the policy of those who are themselves hostile, to provide the history. We have no space now to advert to the variety of causes, amounting to necessity, which results in receiving our books from the North ; but the consequence has been a constant tendency to the obscuration of the achievements of our people, the disparagement of their claims when stated,
and the assumption of the merits of the performance, for those who, in reality, did but little, or who wrought mischievously.
Now, we must not be understood as imputing any of this disposition to disparage South-Carolina, past or present, to the able and amiable writer before us. Mr. Kennedy is one of those gentlemen whom we highly esteem, as well for his great private worth, his purity and integrity of character, and for his endowments as a literary
But Mr. Kennedy, like many others, has been misled by the false statements of superficial or corrupt historians, who are quite too numerous in our country, and who abuse the confidence of the reader, sometimes through their own ignorance and haste, sometimes through sectional prejudices, and, not unfrequently, because they aim to subserve the purposes of party. There are, accordingly, several errors in the summary which our author makes, at the opening of his twelfth chapter, in reference to South-Carolina. He says, for example, " It was the misfortune of South-Carolina, during the revolutionary war, to possess a numerous party, less attached to the Union, or more tainted with disaffection, than the inhabitants of any of the other States.” We join issue with him upon the fact. In the first place, the act of the revo. lution was the incipient state of union, and attachment to the Union, as we now regard it, was not to be predicated of a people, or the want of it charged unfavourably against them, while the Union was yet in an untried condition—a thing purely in embryo. But this does not affect the question. We deny that the disaffection was greater in South Carolina than in New York or Pennsylvania. The opinion has grown current, in consequence of the greater degree of virulence with which the civil war prevailed in that State, and this was due to the fact that the concentrated fury of the war fell upon it during the three last years of the struggle, the conflict having really ceased in almost all the other States. The closing events made, naturally, the greatest impression; and the bitterness of the struggle was naturally increased, in due degree with the increased efforts of the British, goaded by desperation, and that bitter feeling which grew daily noore and more active, in correspondence with the growing hopelessness of the cause on the part of the invader. A small State,
with a limited population, and the population, to a man, in the field, on one side or the other, —for such a people are never lukewarm--the conflict was naturally urged to the extremest issues. But there was another reason why it should be a conflict of intense bitterness, from a reason which we shall give hereafter. Enough, in this place, to repeat that the disaffection was not more extensive than in many other States, but that it was brought into more active exhibition, in consequence of the causes assigned, and others. There were popular elements in conflict, in certain parts of South-Carolina, at that day, which we find hardly anywhere else, and she was compelled to endure the evils of a population which she did not own.
To her fields, from 1778 to 1782, came, in herds, the refugees previously expelled from other States, and seeking shelter in Florida. The propinquity of the latter colony, so soon as the British took foothold in South-Carolina and Georgia, brought over these two feeble States a locust swarm of ontlaws, who, with locust instinct, scattered themselves at once abroad, wherever they might plunder. Let the historian properly inquire into the civil war of these regions, and he will find that the actual population was the prey of the intruders, backed by British armies. He will wonder, indeed, that, with a population so really small, and greatly scattered, so much head could be made for the good cause, and so many successes achieved by the faithful. The writers of our country, ordinarily, have no sort of idea of our settlements, of their fewness, isolation and small resource—and rarely take into consideration the important fact, that, with Georgia only newly established, and, as yet, affording no barrier, South-Carolina, in the revolution, was simply an agricultural border State, liable to be overrun, at any moment, by a stealthy invader, taking advantage, as the British did, of a long trai of circumstances, by which, including the disastrous affair of Savannah, the surprise of Colonel Ashe, and other events, her regular troops had been dissipated and destroyed, leaving her remaining forces of militia yet to be gathered, from remote settlements, and to be trained by inexperienced cap
Without money, and unsupported by Congress, it was not possible to draw these to a proper head, in season for the encounter with Sir Henry Clinton. But this hereafter. Enough here to repeat, that the closing struggles
of the war were in the South wholly, and in South-Carolina in particular; that the bloody frequency of her battle-fields would show the superior earnestness with which they were fought; that the final events made the most fearful impression, and that the war carried its sting in its tail. The venom and virulence of the conflict were reserved for the last acts of this long drama, and they took place almost wholly in South-Carolina, where the last blood of the war was shed.
Amongst her citizens,” savs our author, “the disinclination to sever from the mother country was stronger, the spread of republican principles more limited, and the march of revolution slower, than in either of the other colonies, except, perhaps, in the neighbour State of Georgia, where," etc.
This is a singular mixture of truth and error. So far from this being the fact, South-Carolina was one of the first colonies to precipitate events, as the following statements will sufficiently show:
1. The first steps towards a continental union were taken in South-Carolina, before the measure had been agreed upon by any colony south of New-England. This was so far back as 1765, immediately upon the passage of the stamp act.
2. South-Carolina was the first of the colonies that formed an independent constitution. This was done in March, 1776, and prior to the recommendation of Congress to that effect. But, in fact, an independent government had been in existence in the colony from the 6th day of July, 1774. On that day, a large convention of the people was held, and an unanimous vote was passed, to support Massachusetts in the vindication of her rights. Except nominally, from that moment the royal government ceased to exist within the province. The country became, on the instant, singularly popular, being governed actually by popular committees and voluntary associations, whose authority was rarely resisted.
3. In September, 1775, the royal governor convened an assembly, to provide for public exigencies, when the members gave him a singular proof of their republican tempers, their first and only act being the passage of a resolution, approving and affirming the popular resolutions of the convention of July, 1774. Fearful of more republi