[CIVIL WAR]. Printed broadside, the Charleston Mercury Extra: "THE UNION IS DISSOLVED!" [Charleston, 20 December 1860]. 1 page, broadside, 11¼ x 23 in., losses expertly repaired, matted and framed (21 x 33 in.), with a moveable wooden stand on back of frame. Not examined out of frame. FIRST PRINTING OF THE FIRST SECESSION ORDINANCE. Crandall 1888; Ray O. Hummell, Southeastern Broadsides Before 1877, no. 2434 (locating six copies); Sabin 87439.
SOUTH CAROLINA DISSOLVES ITS BONDS TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
THE FIRST STATE TO BOLT IN THE SECESSION CRISIS. The "fire-eaters" in the South had made it clear: the election of the "Black republican" candidate Abraham Lincoln meant the end of the Union. One South Carolinian told a London journalist "Nothing on earth shall ever induce us to submit to any union with the brutal blackguards of the New England States!" (McPherson, Battle Cry, 234-35) In vain did Northerners and Southern Unionists try to point out the differences between Lincoln and the more radical abolitionists. Amidst a mood of revolutionary carnival, the Carolinians called a convention to consider secession. Outside bands marched, fireworks flared, and eager soldiers declared themselves neo-Minute Men. Only a single vote was taken, and the momentous ordinance was passed unanimously, 169 to 0. Within fifteen minutes this broadside announcement--probably set in type while the Convention met--was in circulation on the streets of Charleston.
"EXTRA: Passed Unanimously at 1.115 o'clock, P.M., December 20th, 1860. An Ordinance to Dissolve the Union between the State of North Carolina and other States united with her under the compact entitled 'The Constitution of the United States of America.' We, the People of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, That the Ordinance adopted by us in Convention, on the twenty-third day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and also, all Acts and parts of Acts of the General Assembly of this States, ratifying amendments of the said Constitution, are hereby repealed; and that the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States, under the name of 'The United States of America,' is hereby dissolved." This began the avalanche. Within weeks six other states joined: Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. The more cautious states in the upper South wavered, but the momentum towards disunion ultimately carried them into the Confederacy as well. A key, very graphic Civil War relic, uncommon in good condition.