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name. Wade Hampton, of cavalry fame, who is one of the Columbia delegates, was suggested; but before the voting began, Mr. Huger, of Charleston, and postmaster there during Buchanan's administration, .inquired if General Hampton was nominated by permission; adding, that his veneration for him was such that he could not consent to seeing his name put up unless by his express desire. That produced its withdrawal. He has not been in the city since the Convention was called. The contest was, therefore, marrowed down to one between Mr. Dudley and Mr. Wardlaw, both of them men of unexceptionable private character. The first ballot was Wardlaw, 42; Dudley, 36; Dawkins, 12; Hampton, 5; Scattering, 5. The second call gave Wardlaw, 55; Dudley, 35; Dawkins, 9; and blank, 1. Judge Wardlaw was thereupon declared elected. He is a small and kindly mannered gentleman, well along in years, and one of the judges of the Court of Sessions and Common Pleas. He has served many years in the General Assembly, and has often been elected speaker of the lower House. He was one of the Union men of the fall of 1860, accepted the decree of the State, was a delegate in the Secession Convention and chairman of the Committee on Revision of the Constitution. His home is in the northwestern part of the State, beyond the route of Sherman's army. Delegates say there is no particular signification in his election over either of the other candidates. His remarks on taking his seat were very brief, and also without any special significance. He hoped the Convention would soon restore the State to the Union; and urged the delegates to do their duty in sincere and earnest spirit, that Peace and her blessings might once more abide in the whole land. It seems that the fire-eaters are not yet all dead; for as soon as a committee had been appointed to wait on the Governor and tell him the Convention was ready for business, Mr. A. P. Aldrich, a delegate from the district of Barnwell, in the central part of the State, and in which there was a slave population of 17,400 to a white population of 12,000, offered the following resolution, which he asked might be printed, and made the special order for to-morrow : — Resolved, That, under the present extraordinary circumstances, it is both wise and politic to accept the condition in which we are placed; to endure patiently the evils which we cannot avert or correct; and to await calmly the time and opportunity to effect our deliverance from unconstitutional rule.
In this resolution there is, of course, the very essence of Rebellion. More than one delegate saw the point at the first reading by Mr. Aldrich himself, and when it had been reread by the President, a sharp running debate of half or three quarters of an hour took place, in which the mover was opposed to four or five of the ablest men in the Convention.
Mr. Dudley protested briefly against the passage or printing of any such resolution, and moved that it be laid on the table.
Mr. Aldrich responded, that he did not ask debate now, but would be prepared to defend the resolution to-morrow.
Judge Frost, of Charleston, also expressed the idea that the resolution was very objectionable. He believed it indicated a spirit at war with the best interests of the State, and repugnant to the feelings of the great body of her citizens.
Ex-Governor Pickens tersely said, in a very feeling manner: “It does n’t become South Carolina to vapor or swell or strut or brag or bluster or threat or swagger; she points to her burned cities, her desolate plantations, her mourning hearths, her unnumbered graves, her widows and her orphans, her own torn and bleeding body, - this, she says, is the work of war; and she bids us bind up her wounds and pour in the oil of peace, — bids us cover her great nakedness; and we must do it, even if it needs that in so doing we go backwards !”
Mr. Aldrich replied, that he was not satisfied with the condition of things; that there had always been in the country an unconstitutional Republican party and a constitutional Democratic party; that the South had always acted with the latter, and that her hope and salvation lies only in an immediate union with the Democratic party of the North; that the State is now ground under the iron heel of a military despotism, repugnant alike to her people and the spirit of the Constitution ; that for his part, he would not submit without an indignant protest; that he hoped for the speedy overthrow of the party now in power; and that he meant just what the resolution says, – to be quiet till we are strong enough, through the aid of the Democratic party of the North, to get a constitutional government.
Mr. McGowan, of Abbeville District, late major-general in the Confederate service, and bearing the marks of several wounds, denounced the resolution in a brief speech of thrilling eloquence, which brought hearty applause from the delegates and the galleries. “I protest with all the earnestness of my nature against this resolution. It is not true that South Carolina carries a dagger underneath her vestments; not true that she stands with obedient words on her lips and disloyal spirit in her heart. The work she begins to-day she begins in good faith. She was the first to secede, and she fought what she believed to be the good fight with all her energies of heart and head and hand and material resources. Whatever may have been charged against her, no one has ever dared charge her with double-dealing. Her word is her bond. She is so poor that it is no figure of speech to say she has lost everything but honor. Pass this resolution, and you rob her of her honor, and bow in the dust the head of every one of her true sons. She has seen enough of war; in God's name I demand that she shall not be made to appear as if she still coveted fire and sword.”
The Aldrich resolution went to the table with only four dissenting voices, being refused even the poor privilege of going to the printer or to a committee. o
Some debate followed on the question of rules for the Convention, in which a member having suggested that the rules of the Convention of 1860 were specially adapted for the government of such bodies, and might therefore be adopted for use now, Mr. Orr pointedly remarked that he thought as little reference as possible to that Convention would be desirable. A committee was therefore appointed to prepare rules, and the Convention then adjourned.
CoLUMBIA, September 14, 1865. The Provisional Governor sent in his message to the Convention at noon. It was read by his son, who is one of the delegates, and its reading occupied about twenty-five minutes. What he has to say on the subjects of slavery and negro suffrage appears in the following paragraphs: —
“Under the war-making power, the military authorities of the United States have abolished slavery in all of the seceding States. The oath you have solemnly taken to ‘abide by and faithfully support all laws and proclamations which have been made during the existing Rebellion, with reference to the emancipation of slaves, requires you, in good faith, to abolish slavery in your new or amended Constitution. The express terms on which your pardons have issued stipulate that you shall never again own or employ slave labor. Moreover, it is impossible for South Carolina ever to regain her civil rights and be restored to the Union till she voluntarily abolishes slavery, and declares, by an organic law, that neither “slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted,” shall ever again exist within the limits of the State. Until this is done we shall be kept under military rule.
“The radical Republican party North are looking with great interest to the action of the Southern States in reference to negro suffrage; and whilst they admit that a man should be able to read and write and have a property qualification in order to vote, yet they contend that there should be no distinction between voters on account of color. They forget that this is a white man's government, and intended for white men only; and that the Supreme Court of the United States has decided that the negro is not an American citizen under the Federal Constitution. To extend universal suffrage to the ‘freedmen” in their present ignorant and degraded condition would be little less than folly and madness. It would be giving to the man of wealth and large landed possessions in the State a most undue influence in all elections. He would be enabled to march to the polls with his two or three hundred ‘freedmen” as employés, voting as he directed, and control all elections. The poor white men in the election districts would have no influence, or their influence would be overpowered by one man of large landed estate. That each and every State of the Union has the unquestioned right of deciding for herself who shall exercise the right of suffrage is beyond all dispute. You will settle this grave question as the interest and honor of the State demand.”
After the reading of the message, the organization of the Convention was completed by disposing of the only contestedseat case. It was that of St. Luke's parish, which includes Hilton Head Island. It appears that Mr. David McGregor received the vote of one precinct, the voters, eighty-two in number, being mostly like himself, of Northern birth, but resident on the island for three or four years, and legally qualified under the laws of the State as electors. Mr. L. F. Youmans received seventy-five votes, – the aggregate of the three other precincts in the parish. The island people were unable to learn the names of the regular managers of elections, or, in fact, that the other precincts of the parish intended voting; and after much fruitless effort to find the proper authorities to receive the poll, they held a meeting and appointed their own managers. Mr. McGregor brought the certificate of these managers, – Mr. Youmans that of the regular managers. The case was referred to a special committee of three, who reported in favor of Mr. Youmans, on