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master, almost adored by his servants and slaves-in a word, the amiable human being, which even his enemies acknowledge him to have been.
Political ambition and party spirit seem to have been his demons, and to have hastened his death. Clay, in his speech on Calhoun in the Senate, makes some gently warning allusions to this. His fight for slavery was “a political bravado," said a clever lady, who was not one of the anti-slavery party. Pity that so good a man should live—and have died for so wretched a thing!
In South Carolina, the idolatry with which he was regarded was carried to the extreme, and it has been said, in joke, that “when Calhoun took snuff the whole of Carolina sneezed.” Even now people talk and write about him as if he had been a divine person.
During the procession a whole crowd of negroes leaped about the streets, looking quite entertained, as they are by any pomp. Some one told me that he heard the negroes say, “Calhoun was indeed a wicked man, for he wished that we might remain slaves."
On the evening of this day we had strangers at home, and games, dancing, and music, all merry and gay. After this, we walked in the piazza, in the warm moonlight air, till midnight. On the country side was heard the song of the negroes as they rowed their boats up the river on their return from the city, whither they had taken their small waresmeggs, fowls, and vegetables—for sale, as they do two or three times a week.
When this letter reaches you, you also will have summer and flowers, my sweet Agatha, and God be praised for it
To-morrow I set off for Savannah, and thence to Macon, the capital of Georgia, then to Montpellier, where I am invited by Elliott, the distinguished bishop of the Episcopal Church in the Southern States, to be present at the annual examination of a ladies' seminary which is under his care.
From that place I shall write more.
Macon, Vineville, May 7th, 1850. Nay, I did not go to Savannah the day I thought of, but went-on an excursion, to which I invite you to accompany me, but without telling you whither we go. We drive to the rail-road, we enter one of the carriages : Mrs. W. H., an agreeable young man--I have the pleasure of introducing Mr. R. to you and myself; and now you will accompany us. Away we go, through forest and field, eighteen miles from Charleston. It is late in the afternoon and very warm. We stop; it is in the middle of a thick wood. There is wood on all sides, and not a house to be seen. We alight from the carriages and enter a fir-wood. After we have walked for an hour along unformed paths, the wood begins to be very animated. It swarms with people, in particular with blacks, as far as we can see among the lofty tree-stems. In the middle of the wood is an open space, in the centre of which rises a great long roof, supported by pillars, and under which stand benches in rows, affording sufficient accommodation for four or five thousand people. In the middle of this tabernacle is a lofty, square elevation, and in the middle of this a sort of chair or pulpit. All round the tabernacle, for so I call the roofed-in space supported on pillars, hundreds of tents, and booths of all imaginable forms and colors, are pitched and erected in a vast circle, and are seen shining out white in the wood to a great distance, and every where, on all sides, near and afar off, may be seen groups of people, mostly black, busied at small fires, roasting and boiling. Children are running about or sitting by the fires; horses stand and feed beside the carriages they have drawn thither. It is a perfect camp, with all the varied party.colored life of a camp,
but without soldiers and arms. Here every thing looks peaceful and festive, although not exactly joyful.
By degrees the people begin to assemble within the tabernacle, the white people on one side, the black on the other; the black being considerably more numerous than the white. The weather is sultry; thunder-clouds cover the heavens, and it begins to rain. Not a very agreeable prospect for the night, my little darling, but there is nothing for it, we must pass the night here in the wild wood. We have no other resource. But stop; we have another
That excellent young Mr. R. employs his elo. quence, and a tent is opened for us, and we are received into it by a comfortable bookseller's family. The family are red-hot Methodists, and not to be objected to. Here we have coffee and supper.
After this meal I went to look around me, and was astonished by a spectacle which I never shall forget. The night was dark with the thunder-cloud, as well as with the natural darkness of night; but the rain had ceased, excepting for a few heavy drops, which fell here and there, and the whole wood stood in flames. Upon eight firealtars, or fire-hills, as they are called a sort of lofty table raised on posts, standing around the tabernacle-burned, with a flickering brilliance of flame, large billets of firewood, which contains a great deal of resin, while on every side in the wood, far away in its most remote recesses, burned larger or smaller fires, before tents or in other places, and lit up the lofty fir-tree stems, which seemed like columns of an immense natural temple consecrated to fire. The vast dome above was dark, and the air was so still that the flames rose straight upward, and cast a wild light, as of a strange dawn upon the fir-tree tops and the black clouds.
Beneath the tabernacle an immense crowd was assem. bled, certainly from three to four thousand persons They sang hymnsa magnificent choir! Most likely the sound
proceeded from the black portion of the assembly, as their number was three times that of the whites, and their voices are naturally beautiful and pure. In the tower-like pulpit, which stood in the middle of the tabernacle, were four preachers, who, during the intervals between the hymns, addressed the people with loud voices, calling sinners to conversion and amendment of life. During all this, the thunder pealed, and fierce lightning flashed-through the wood like angry glances of some mighty invisible eye. We entered the tabernacle, and took our seats among the assembly on the side of the whites.
Round the elevation, in the middle of which rose the pulpit, ran a sort of low counter, forming a wide square. Within this, seated on benches below the pulpit, and on the side of the whites, sat the Methodist preachers, for the most part handsome tall figures, with broad, grave foreheads; and on the side of the blacks their spiritual lead. ers and exhorters, many among whom were mulattoes, men of a lofty, noticeable, and energetic exterior.
The later it grew in the night, the more earnest grew the appeals; the hymns short, but fervent, as the flames of the light-wood ascended, like them, with a passionate ardor. Again and again they arose on high, like melodious, burning sighs from thousands of harmonious voices. The preachers increase in the fervor of their zeal; two stand with their faces turned toward the camp of the blacks, two toward that of the whites, extending their hands, and calling on the sinners to come, come, all of them, now at this time, at this moment, which is perhaps the last, the only one which remains to them in which to come to the Savior, to escape eternal damnation! Midnight approaches, the fires burn dimmer, but the exaltation increases and becomes universal. The singing of hymns mingles with the invitations of the preachers, and the exhortations of the class-leaders with the groans and cries of the assembly. And now, from among the white
people, rise up young girls and men, and go and throw themselves, as if overcome, upon the low counter. These are met on the other side by the ministers, who bend down to them, receive their confessions, encourage and console them. In the camp of the blacks is heard a great tumult and a loud cry.
Men roar and bawl out; women screech like pigs about to be killed ; many, having fallen into convulsions, leap and strike about them, so that they are obliged to be held down. It looks here and there like a regular fight; some of the calmer participants laugh. Many a cry of anguish may be heard, but you distinguish no words excepting, “Oh, I am a sinner!” and “Jesus! Jesus!”
During all this tumult the singing continues loud and beautiful, and the thunder joins in with its pealing kettledrum.
While this spectacle is going forward in the black camp we observe a quieter scene among the whites. Some of the forms which had thrown themselves on their knees at the counter have removed themselves, but others are still lying there, and the ministers seem in vain to talk or to sing to them. One of these, a young girl, is lifted up by her friends and found to be in a trance." She now lies with her head in the lap of a woman dressed in black, with her pretty young face turned upward, rigid, and as it appears, totally unconscious. The woman dressed in black, and another, also in the same colored attire, both with beautiful, though sorrowful countenances, softly fan the young girl with their fans, and watch her with serious looks, while ten or twelve women-most of them youngstand around her, singing softly and sweetly a hymn of the resurrection; all watching the young girl, in whom they believe that something great is now taking place. It is really a beautiful scene in that thunderous night, and by the light of the fire-altars.
After we had contemplated these scenes, certainly for