Our Weaker Brethren
by Steve Payne
says: what if the State of South Carolina had been isolated in the
winter of 1860-1? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post
do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
On December 20th 1860,
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icon to follow us on Facebook.at precisely 1.15pm on this day the
ill-fated Republic of South Carolina seceded from the Union following the
passage of a vote in the Special Convention in Charleston which had been
summoned solely for that purpose by the State Legislature on December 6th.
"We, therefore, the People of South Carolina, by our delegates in
Convention assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the
rectitude of our intentions, have solemnly declared that the Union
heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North
America, is dissolved, and that the State of South Carolina has resumed
her position among the other nations of the world, as a separate and
independent State; with full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract
alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which
independent States may of right do".
The declaration was a result for State Governor William H. Gist who had
been absolutely determined to force secession. He upheld the view that
South Carolina, having joined a compact of states of its own free will in
1788 had the right to leave when it chose. Which was right now that
Abraham Lincoln had been elected, or so he told Governor Pettus of
Mississippi, because he did not mean to let the other Southern Governors -
who he labelled as "our weaker brethren" - dodge the issue of abolition
which he believe the incoming President would enact.
Ever the masterful politician, Lincoln used the period of transition to
reach out to southern unionists and dismiss the prospect of the sudden
liberation of four million African Americans. And so the scenes of
marching bands, fireworks and flag-waving rallies of citizens were
confined to Charleston. At least for the time being. Because Gist had
anticipated this lack of support, and now set about firing up Southron
indignation by provoking a confrontation over the disputed ownership of a
Federal Asset, the Union's Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.
says to view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the
Today in Alternate History web site.
Steve Payne, Editor of
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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit
differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items
explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist
superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy
Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting