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among the young lawyers of Charleston. The name, as given in our English participle-"The Lying Club "-is not so classic as it might have been made, but it is none the less suggestive. This club met, as it appears from the proceedings, in general sessions, at the Charleston Coffee-House, a temple whose fame in that goodly day was as great in the old city by the sea as was that of Mercury in ancient Athens. From the old and well-authenticated records of this club it is clear that Mr. Memminger's was one of those happy tempers which varied at times the stern realities of life with the genuine good humor of a merry soul.

He had the sweet humors of a happy disposition moving as a deep undercurrent in his strong and manly nature. There was no element of the cynic, no asceticism in his character. Under no circumstances did he ever display the solemn phariseeism of a Uriah Heap.

In after years, when he was burdened with the cares, the responsibilities, and many vexing annoyances of a Cabinet officer, the writer was brought into intimate official relations with him as the chief clerk and disbursing officer of the Confederate Treasury Department, and was admitted into his confidence as his private secretary and executive officer for at least one year of his term of service. I never knew him to lose control of his temper; never at any time, even when annoyed, as but few officials could be, and always found him ready at the proper time and place to enjoy a good joke, and to relish, with a keen sense of appreciation, a genuine witticism.

In his infancy his grandparents, who were then his guardians, did not realize the advantage of having him made an American citizen under the provisions of the naturalization laws then of force. He could not be admitted to the Bar as an attorney and counsellor-at-law until this step had been taken. Under the auspices of Mr. Van Buren, an act of

Congress providing for such cases was passed, and under its provisions Mr. Memminger became an American citizen. The following is a copy of the certificate issued by the United States District Court:


To all to whom these presents may come-greeting:

Whereas at a Federal District Court, held in the city of Charleston, under the jurisdiction of the United States of America, on the 22d day of June, Anno Domini, 1824, and in the 48th year of the Independence and sovereignty of the said States, Christopher Gustavus Memminger, late of the Duchy of Wurtemberg, in the electorate of Suabia, came into the said court and made application to be admitted a citizen of these, our said States, and having complied with all of the conditions and requisites of the acts of Congress in such case made and provided for establishing a uniform rule for naturalization; and the oath to support the Constitution of the United States of America, and to renounce all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign prince, potentate, State, or sovereignty whatever, being administered unto him in open court before the Honorable Thomas Lee, District Judge, he, the said Christopher Gustavus Memminger is, by virtue thereof and the premises, declared and enrolled a citizen of the said States.

In testimony whereof, I have fixed the seal of the said court to these presents, at the city of Charleston, in the district aforesaid, the day and year above written.


JAMES JERVEY, District Clerk, S. C. D.

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It is fact of note that two of the most prominent and trusted officers of the Cabinet of President Davis were foreign born-Judah P. Benjamin and Mr. Memminger. It does not appear that Mr. Benjamin was ever a citizen de jure of the United States. He moved on in his remarkable career, reaching eminence as a lawyer and distinction as a Senator; became famous as a brilliant expounder of constitutional law; championed the cause of the Southern States, and subsequently throughout the administration of President Davis, became his trusted counsellor in the Law Department, the War Department, and finally, as Secretary of State, without ever having renounced his allegiance to the


British Government. Not so with Mr. Memminger, the equal in many respects of the gifted Englishman from Louisiana, and, as the writer believes, his superior in those characteristics that mark the upright man who feared God and worked righteously.

The delay incident to securing the privileges of a citizen of the United States was improved by Mr. Memminger in a close application to the text-books of his profession. It was at this time that he began the preparation of "A Digest of the Decisions of the Court of Appeals, with Notes on the same, and on Leading Cases referred to in the Authorities." I find only one of the note books among his papers in which this digest is commenced. It is in his hand-writing, with marginal references to many authorities, clearly indicating the painstaking, methodical work of a careful student. Thus was he laying broad and deep the foundation upon which, in after years, he was to erect the superstructure that will remain for years to grace the judicial walks in which the great men of Carolina lived and made their immortal history.

Admitted to practice in the several courts of South Carolina, Mr. Memminger at once entered upon a successful professional career. While he did not make any single department of law a specialty, yet it becomes apparent to those who follow his long and laborious professional life, and read his many cases as of record in the State Reports, that commercial and constitutional law in all their bearings was his favorite branch, and in these he was eminently successful. The order of his mind would naturally lead him in this direction.

When Mr. Memminger came to take his place among the lawyers of the Charleston Bar, political affairs were in an excited condition, and became more so as each session of Congress brought before the people the discussions of ques

tions that were fast arraying the Northern and Southern sections of the country against each other, and that ultimately provoked the dissolution of the Union. For years the discussion of the rights of the States, under the provisions of the Constitution, had been growing more and more bitter. These discussions became more excited when the tariff measures, instituted during the administration of John Quincy Adams, were enforced during the presidential term of Andrew Jackson. Public meetings were being held all over the country to protest against the tariff as an iniquitous system of legislation made to advance the interests of the manufacturing States of the North, at the expense of the agricultural sections of the Union. Mr. Clay's great speech in support of "An American system for the protection of American industry," delivered in the House of Representatives in March, 1824, had called forth the eloquence and logic of Robert Y. Hayne, Mr. Calhoun, Judge Harper, James Hamilton, Langdon Cheves, Henry L. Pinckney and a host of others in opposition to his doctrines; while in Virginia the ringing eloquence of William B. Giles endorsed the resolutions reported to the General Assembly of that State protesting "against the claim or exercise of any power whatever on the part of the general government to protect domestic manufactures as not being among the grants of power to that government specified in the Constitution of the United States, and also against the operations of the act of Congress passed May 22, 1824, entitled an act to amend an act imposing duties on imports generally called the tariff laws, which vary the distribution of the proceeds of the labor of the community in such a manner as to transfer property from one portion of the United States to another, and to take private property from the owner for the benefit of another person, not rendering public service, as unwise, unjust, unequal and oppressive."


In South Carolina, as in Virginia and in other States of the Union, this matter of the "unwise, unjust, unequal and oppressive" character of the tariff led to the formation of two parties, not so much because there was a denial, among any very considerable number, of the unrighteousness and oppressiveness of the measure, but because of a difference of opinion as to the proper remedy to relieve the agricultural sections of the unjust and unconstitutional burdens. Mr. Calhoun presented the right of nullification as a remedy authorised by the Constitution of the United States, and sustained his position with masterly arguments which will rank him among the great reasoners and statesmen of America as long as our institutions of government endure.

Nullification as a peaceful remedy was opposed by those who believed that it was revolutionary, unauthorized by any provision of the Constitution, and if exercised by the State that every bond of Union existing between the States would be broken and civil war would be the certain result. Both parties claimed to be advocating the doctrine of State Rights-the one being known as the "Union State Rights Party," and the other as the party of "Free Trade and State Rights." With the masses they were distinguished as the "Union" and "Nullification" parties.

Prominent among those who opposed nullification, and among the leaders of the Union party were James L. Petigru, William Drayton, Joel R. Poinsett, Daniel E. Huger, John S. Richardson, Hugh S. Legare, Richard Yeadon, Jr., B. F. Hunt, Richard I. Manning, Henry W. Dessassure, John Belton O'Neal, and many others I might mention among the best citizens and truest patriots of the State of South Carolina.

With the "Union State Rights" party Mr. Memminger early identified himself, and though but a young man, he brought to its service the sincere convictions of his good

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