May 27, 2007

The Almost Three Hour Tour

The Fort Sumter Tour. I have not been on that since a trip in grade school. I decided to go by myself to see it as an adult. It was very educational as I learned more than I ever wanted to know. One thing that the tour guys wanted us to be sure not to believe anymore was that the first shots of the civil war was fired from Charleston. It was not. It was fired from a fort in the area which was a signal for all the other forts to begin firing upon Fort Sumter. It was an overcast day, cool and very breezy on the boat. I picked up the tour right at the Charleston Aquarium near the IMax Theatre.

As we got underway there were all sorts of other boats at sea as well. Ahoy!

Here we are as we finally arrive. The trips to and from were delightful...all that fresh sea air!

On December 20, 1860 South Carolina delegates to a special secession convention voted unanimously to secede from the United States of America. In November, Abraham Lincoln had been elected President of the United States with little support from the southern states. The critical significance of this election was expressed in South Carolina’s Declaration of the Immediate Causes of Secession: “A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all states north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of president of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery.” The Declaration claimed that secession was justified because the Federal government had violated the constitutional compact by encroaching upon the rights of the sovereign states. As the primary violation, the Declaration listed the failure of 14 northern states to enforce the Federal Fugitive Slave Act or to restrict the actions of antislavery organizations. “Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.” The Declaration expressed South Carolina’s fear that “The slaveholding states will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy.”

It is not the paper mill! It is pluff mud!

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