Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
Pursuant to the provisions of a Concurrent Resolution, S. 318, adopted by both Houses, the Senate assembled in Jacksonboro, South Carolina, at 11:00 A.M., the hour to which it stood adjourned, and was called to order by the PRESIDENT.
This meeting of the General Assembly, convened at 11:00 A.M., is to commemorate the convening of the Fourth Session of the South Carolina General Assembly in Jacksonboro, S.C., in January of 1782.
The PRESIDENT of the Senate called the Joint Assembly to order and announced that it had convened under the terms of a Concurrent Resolution adopted by both Houses.
S. 318 (Word version) -- Senators Pinckney, Grooms, Matthews and Campsen: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO COMMEMORATE THE CONVENING OF THE FOURTH SESSION OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN JACKSONBOROUGH, SOUTH CAROLINA, IN JANUARY OF 1782, AS A RESULT OF THE CONTINUED BRITISH OCCUPATION OF CHARLESTON, SUBSEQUENT TO THE DEFEAT OF THE BRITISH AT YORKTOWN IN OCTOBER OF 1781, BY CONVENING IN JACKSONBORO ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16th, TO HONOR AND CELEBRATE THE JACKSONBOROUGH ASSEMBLY.
Whereas, the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, after which the Revolutionary War erupted between American Patriots and forces of the British Crown; and
Whereas, during the course of the Revolution, the City of Charleston, the capital of South Carolina, was surrendered to the British on May 12, 1780, after a six-week battle; and
Whereas, a series of battles pivotal to the outcome of the Revolutionary War were waged in South Carolina, commencing with the Battle of Ninety Six in November of 1775, culminating in the Battle of King's Mountain in October of 1780, and the Battle of Cowpens in January of 1781, and concluding with the Battle of Eutaw Springs in September 1781; and
Whereas, in an attempt by the British occupation forces to regain control of the Revolutionaries in South Carolina, Colonel Isaac Hayne of the Militia was executed in Charleston on August 4, 1781, for acts of treason against the Crown; Colonel Hayne's primary residence was Hayne Hall, located four miles from Jacksonborough; and
Whereas, led by General George Washington, the Battle of Yorktown was won by the Americans and French on October 19, 1781, when Major General Lord Cornwallis surrendered; and
Whereas, during the British occupation of South Carolina, the Honorable John Rutledge served as Governor from 1779 until January 1782; and
Whereas, in November of 1781, as part of Governor Rutledge's plan to restore civil authority to South Carolina, he called for a Joint Session of the General Assembly to convene in Jacksonborough on the banks of the Edisto River, thirty-five miles from British-occupied Charleston; and
Whereas, the Fourth Session of the General Assembly convened in Jacksonborough on January 18, 1782: the House of Representatives met at the local Masonic Lodge and the Senate met at DuBose Tavern during this legislative session; thereby, Jacksonborough became the provisional capital of South Carolina; and
Whereas, in Governor Rutledge's message to the joint session held in the Masonic Lodge, he called upon the General Assembly to attend to such progressive matters as raising and organizing a State Militia, devising a plan to punish those citizens disloyal to the Revolution in accordance with the degree of disloyalty, repealing the use of the Crown's tender and any monies in circulation at that time, formulating a debt-management plan and suspending taxation, and restoring civil, criminal, and admiralty forms of justice; and
Whereas, Governor Rutledge praised General Francis Marion, General Andrew Pickens, and General Thomas Sumter whose "enterprising spirit and unremitted perseverance under many difficulties are deserving of great applause..."; and Governor Rutledge also congratulated General Nathanael Greene "on the pleasing change of affairs, which under the blessing of God,... and bravery of the great and gallant General Greene and the intrepidity of the officers and men under his command, have happily effected"; and
Whereas, Governor Rutledge, from his own lips, on January 18, 1782, issued a challenge to the Fourth Session of the General Assembly to conduct the business of that historic session on which "the interest and honor, the safety and happiness of our country depend, so much on the result of your deliberations that I flatter myself you will proceed in the weighty business before you, with firmness and temper, with vigor, unanimity and dispatch"; and
Whereas, the City of Charleston was not fully abandoned by the British and the Loyalists until December of 1782; and
Whereas, the members of the South Carolina General Assembly today, over two hundred years after that fateful session, would like to remember those who stood as leaders of our beloved State in its infancy. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring:
That the members of the South Carolina General Assembly, by this resolution, commemorate the convening of the Fourth Session of the South Carolina General Assembly in Jacksonborough, South Carolina, in January of 1782, as a result of the continued British occupation of Charleston, subsequent to the defeat of the British at Yorktown in October of 1781, by convening a statewide legislative day to meet in joint session in Jacksonboro, South Carolina, on Friday, February 16, 2007, for the sole purpose of honoring and celebrating the Jacksonborough Assembly.
This session must be held at a time and place to be determined by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate.
COMMEMORATING THE FOURTH SESSION
OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY
IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY OF 1782
CONVENING A STATEWIDE LEGISLATIVE DAY
BY MEETING IN JOINT SESSION
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2007
AT THE PON PON CHAPEL OF EASE
JACKSONBORO, SOUTH CAROLINA
CALL TO ORDER
The Honorable André Bauer, Lieutenant Governor
Dr. James St. John, Chaplain of the Senate
Good morning, friends. Hear the Word of the Lord as we find it today in Isaiah 62: "For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch. The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God." (Isaiah 62:1-3)
Let us bow in prayer:
Gracious Lord, on this particular morning, in this particular place, we vividly recall why--225 years ago--leaders of the Fourth Session of the General Assembly gathered here close by the banks of the Edisto, coming from what was then the capital of South Carolina: Charleston. In this place, with dedication and determination, those Representatives and Senators and others attended to the governance of this State. Today, Lord, we remember those leaders--Rutledge, Heyward, Middleton, the Pinckneys, Gadsden, as well as Moultrie, Marion, and Sumter--and many others. In their honor and memory we renew our intent of striving toward the very best for the citizens of this State we love--grateful to the Colleton County Historical and Preservation Society for this memorable opportunity to do so.
Add your blessing to all that we say and do here in Old Jacksonborough today. And may South Carolina continue always as "a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God." In the Lord's blessed name do we pray.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Speaker Robert W. Harrell, Jr.
The Honorable Clementa C. Pinckney
The Honorable William K. Bowers
The Honorable Robert L. Brown
REMARKS AND INTRODUCTION
OF THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE
The Honorable Lawrence K. Grooms
The 4th General Assembly convened here in Jacksonborough on January 18, 1782, as a result of Governor John Rutledge's call to begin the restoration of sovereign civil government in South Carolina. Those elected met here, very near these sacred grounds. To meet in Charles Town would have meant suicide as it was occupied, held by British forces under the command of Lord Cornwallis. But South Carolina, by that time, thankfully, was all but liberated.
The previous year, in 1781, South Carolina patriots had turned the tide not only of the war in South Carolina but also of the American Revolution as a whole. Some of that year's events are well-known to many South Carolinians: 1781 began with the victory at Cowpens in present-day Cherokee County; South Carolina militia under the command of General Andrew Pickens outfoxed the infamous Banastre Tarleton and his grenadiers with a seeming retreat into a solid line of Continentals who tore them to shreds. This episode was the historical setting for the final, dramatic scene in the movie, The Patriot.
As an interesting aside, General Andrew Pickens is a direct ancestor of our Senator Danny Verdin of Laurens. Neither man looks like Mel Gibson.
The roster of the 4th Assembly reflected a "Who's Who" of South Carolina and included Pickens, General Thomas Sumter, Colonel Hugh Horry, Colonel Wade Hampton, I, General Francis Marion, and Colonel Thomas Taylor (owner of the plantation that is now Columbia).
Prior to the election by the 4th Assembly of Continental Congressman John Matthews as the South Carolina Governor, the Assembly elected Christopher Gadsden, who had recently returned to South Carolina after spending more than a year in a St. Augustine dungeon and aboard a British prison ship. He declined the election and did not serve. Our own Senator JOHN MATTHEWS will speak with us later. John, I'm afraid we won't be electing you governor today, however.
This was the first General Assembly wherein the membership was equally divided between the Lowcountry and the Upcountry. It didn't matter. Governor Matthews was from Charleston. The Lowcountry/Upcountry political divide was present even then.
The last battle of the American Revolution was fought on November 14, 1781, at Dill's Bluff on John's Island. It was the last of 137 battles here. South Carolina's patriots fought more skirmishes than did men in all of the other colonies combined. Noted South Carolina historian, Dr. Walter Edgar, notes "[The British] strategy backfired. Cornwallis' grand plan of rolling up the Carolinas to Virginia began to unravel in the backcountry of South Carolina."
If not for the bravery and dedication of South Carolina patriots, there would have been no American independence.
To tell the story in more depth, to tell how and why the 4th Assembly gathered in Jacksonborough, I know of no one more qualified than one of our own, a dedicated historian in his own right, our President Pro Tempore, GLENN McCONNELL.
The Honorable Glenn F. McConnell,
President Pro Tempore of the Senate
It is, indeed, a pleasure and an honor to welcome everybody to the 225th Anniversary of the convening of the General Assembly of South Carolina here, in Jacksonboro, South Carolina. On this occasion, I would like to thank everyone in the General Assembly who has made this possible today and to thank those who have accompanied the guests to this historical location for this celebratory occasion. Today, by this historic convening of the General Assembly, we take these brief moments to honor those who have preceded us and who gave their time and energy and who were willing to face the challenge to advance the cause of liberty for the generations to come.
Today, we convene, as the General Assembly did on January 17, 1782, with a prayer for God's guidance and assistance. We do this not only out of tradition but like them in our effort to further the interest of our State and its citizens by addressing the issues that confront us and by persevering and solving the problems that face us. It was no different for the House and Senate members in 1782. They, too, felt a pressing need for divine guidance. They had embarked on a new effort for freedom, revolting against the British Empire and trying to plant the flags of liberty across a new world. They had confronted an empire more heavily armed than they and capable of presenting a great power on the field of battle. It is safe to say that they had fought against overwhelming odds. Each here, that day, knew the amount of risks that they had flirted with and still faced, but their sense of duty to public service had them assembling to confront and defy their ruler -- a confrontation which they knew put them at great risk both in their homes and in their future. Certainly, they would have reached to the heavens for any wisdom and guidance that they could receive in the hope that with the Holy blessing, they would be successful in navigating the unchartered waters ahead. As it is now, it was then to further the interest of the State and to lead the people in a march into a better future.
Today, as the General Assembly meets, the situation is so different, thanks to the efforts of those who sat here, and the others across this great land who followed their lead. They won our freedom and established it as a beacon of hope for oppressed people around the world. It took several centuries for us, as a people, to evolve and to put into practice the words that our leaders then espoused -- that each person is created equal and is endowed with certain inalienable rights. Today, we are faced with the challenge not to establish our freedom here at home but rather to protect it, to expand it and to ensure that it is passed on to the generations to come. That is, in and of itself, a tall order. Although our ancestors won our freedom, the lingering challenge would be whether we could keep it. Thus, the debates in our history regarding issues many times have brought the spirited dialogue of whether the government is encroaching upon freedoms or protecting them for all. So, not unlike our predecessors, it is necessary that we also seek the divine guidance in the decisions which so ultimately can affect the people that live under these and who are yet to come.
I have learned, through the years, that history is much like a moving car. While driving, one can look through the rear window to see where he is coming from and then look through the windshield to see where he is headed. In 1782, our State was in a war where men and women were dying to create a sovereign state that would embody a democratic republic. As we look back through the mirror of time, we see in a historical context that our people were as diverse as we are today and yet so united in protecting home and advancing the cause of freedom.
First, we can look at the role of the free residents who lived here. Some were Tories who believed that a continued affiliation with the British Empire was the proper and best thing for the future of our people. These people, though loyal to the Crown and against American independence, put themselves at great risk in the position that they took. There were the revolting colonists whose safety and personal holdings were at great risk if the revolutionary government did not result in victory. Nevertheless, they were willing to stand for the principles they believed in.
At their side were people in bondage but who had in their eyes the spark of liberty and saw a brighter future in the long term by throwing off the British yoke. They lived in a land where people talked of freedom but did not universally practice it. These people were the recipients of messages from the British promising them liberation from the bondage of slavery if they would side with the Crown. Instead, they cast their lot with the rebelling home folks instead of the imperial overseers. This land was also their home now. Perhaps they sensed through their faith that the surer path to actual freedom was in helping to establish a country embodying the principles and then later struggling to put those principles into practice for all. The reflections in our mirror tell us they were right.
Together, these were people who sensed their calling to make a stand with their lives on the line for freedom. They knew that if the British were successful, they also would be the subject of reprisals. They had deduced that in this struggle, they could lose their homes and their lives. Yet, they were willing to make the supreme sacrifice for the supreme earthly accomplishment -- freedom, liberty, to be a majority in their own affairs and to chart their own future.
Charleston, the capital of the State, was still in British hands. The power of the British to rule still seemed almost impossible to fully defeat. Yet, that common thread of fighting for a principle and doing what their conscience told them was right kept them focused despite their minor disputes. Through a complex set of events and circumstances, they stayed the course to establish a nation unequaled in its dedication to liberty and unequal in its generosity to other oppressed people. As we look back on the reflections of time, we begin to see a state struggling to establish on a permanent basis its autonomy and sovereignty.
Since Charleston, their capital of liberty and representative government, remained in the hands of the invader, it was necessary that the General Assembly continue to convene to symbolize the existence of the government. Governor John Rutledge understood the necessity of convening the General Assembly, so it was done here. He had to demonstrate that the continued occupation of the capital, by the British, could not dim the flame of liberty that, though flickering, could still light the way to freedom.
He, like us, could look back in the historical mirror and gain strength from the experiences of his people. America was a young country at that point, but there were many experiences and events to already learn from. What he could see was that the colonists settled here with hope of a new start and a new life. He realized that our citizens, just like the early colonists, were fighting for a new start, and it was imperative that this hope of freedom be kept alive. Thus, there was the need for the General Assembly to meet in session somewhere. Simply the word of the government meeting, the voices of the elected officials being raised, gave hope and perseverance to those fighting in the field and those across the lands of South Carolina. Despite the fact that most South Carolinians could not see Jacksonboro with the General Assembly meeting as some beacon on the hill, they could, by word of mouth and by traveling news, have their spirits lifted up by knowing that the government was alive and meeting. Governor Rutledge knew that our people needed to be inspired and reassured of the purpose by a symbol of hope. This and more would emanate from the banks of the Edisto River in beautiful and historic Jacksonboro, South Carolina. The governor perceived that symbolically we had not left the capital behind in Charleston. His concept of the capital was not encompassed in bricks and mortar but was encompassed in the hearts and minds of those elected to represent the people. It was their coming together that created the capital and the government that was standing with them for their freedom. For that day in history, regardless of any other designation, Jacksonboro was the capital, for the capital was here in heart and mind. It was from here that our people took hope that they would, in the end, be victorious.
As they met that day, they knew it was important that the people understand that the revolution did not die when the capital, Charleston, fell. Instead, the ideals of the revolution were alive and existed wherever those who were dedicated to representative democracy would dare meet. Some would say it could have been any town in South Carolina, but the historical fact, as we look back in the mirror, was that it was Jacksonboro, and that is our history. The spark of liberty that became the embodiment of a government that would change the world was kept alive for South Carolinians in Jacksonboro that day. The meeting of the General Assembly many years ago was a very symbolic step in the struggle for freedom that would change the world. Giants of their time who would become American heroes like Thomas Sumter, Francis Marion, Andrew Pickens, Thomas Pinckney, Wade Hampton, and John Laurens, stood here before the General Assembly. These are people who we, in America, are indebted to. They had the courage of the pioneers but also the wisdom of visionaries to know that these diverse people of South Carolina were together on a historic march toward freedom that would be a defining moment in world history.
So today, 225 years later, we, here, in Jacksonboro remember these men and women, so different in time, but yet so similar to those who would come later. They would fight for the ideas they believed in. As Americans, we can take strength in the time tested notion that our government did not come to be by mere location, but by the spirit of dedication to the principles we have long believed are inherent in the natural and fair order of things. We know that our government cannot be undone by the killing of one person or by the destroying of one place. Our system of government exists not just in a physical location or in a leader's authority but in the hearts and minds of those who believe in its ideals and are willing to make the sacrifice to preserve it. Our government, since 1782, has traveled with our fellow South Carolinians across the many reflections in that mirror of time that we gaze into. There would be bumps along the way -- mistakes, disagreements, and ugly moments, but our people have remained true. Though our citizens, for instance, in a later time, would march to different drums and for different reasons in the War Between the States, they would do so out of their perception of liberty and freedom and the need to defend it. They would do so in the 20th Century when they would move across the fields of Europe in world wars. And even this day, though we may have differing views but with one common goal of advancing democratic institutions, we go into the deserts of the Middle East. Though there were different setbacks and victories in that mirror of time that we gaze through, Americans have not become corrupted by power. Instead, they have been attracted into boldness by their love of freedom. Love creates dedication, and when one is dedicated to the right principles, though they may disagree in the execution of those principles, there is the greater assurance that at the end of a day, at the conclusion of a generation, that they will have left things better for those who are left behind than those things were when they came into this land. In these trying times and in these historic moments here at Jacksonboro, we have an opportunity to reflect back and yet look ahead to where we are going and know that a people and their leaders who remain dedicated to freedom and who use their best judgment to advance the cause of freedom though the odds may seem daunting, are nevertheless blessed in the march of time to accomplish more than those who turn away from the heritage of liberty.
So, for each of us here at Jacksonboro today it is an opportunity to look into the mirror and to see what has happened before us and to remember the lessons of time. Also, it is an opportunity to not repeat the mistakes of the past. It is also a moment for each of us to reflect back and be reinvigorated by the power of the spirit of freedom and to know that as we leave this place, our government is with us just as it was with them even when they were out of Charleston if we remain dedicated to the cause of liberty. Thus, the stranger of a future time will also look at the images in the mirror at this place and see what we saw and feel what we feel as each stands on these grounds -- a capital of freedom in the spirit of our people. So, leave here today thankful for those who guarded that dream some 225 years ago from despair but reinvigorated it with hope. Our presence today repeats the message to those yet to come -- that our hearts and minds remain ever faithful to the cause of freedom and equal opportunity for everyone that was so bravely and wisely spiritualized by our predecessors for all people. They insured that each in our society would have a greater opportunity to achieve every success. The free spirit of South Carolina is indeed alive and well and as we have convened in the Halls of Columbia, the capital, we did so here in Jacksonboro, South Carolina, this 16th day of February, 2007.
Our great State Seal has the inscription, "dum spiro spero" -- "while I breathe, I hope." As we leave here and look ahead, let the symbols of the House and Senate, the mace and the sword, and the General Assembly in session today, point the way forward so that through dedication and hope, we, too, are part of the legacy. That is why each of us here today can breathe not just with hope but with the assurance that tomorrow will be even greater for South Carolina.
ADDRESS TO THE ASSEMBLY
Mr. Budd Price, President
The Colleton Historical & Preservation Society
The Honorable John W. Matthews, Jr.
The Honorable Kenneth F. Hodges
Rev. Charles E. Seastrunk, Jr.
Chaplain Of The House
Let us pray.
We give thanks to You, Almighty God, for this celebration of the Fourth South Carolina General Assembly. We remember before You all those brave men who risked their livelihoods and life for those of that time and place and those who followed. We are grateful for the sacrifice, courage, wisdom and integrity of our forefathers who had the foresight to see the greatness of this land. We acknowledge Your guidance in giving these men the faith that Your hand would always be upon each of those who served and are serving.
They dared to be different and form a new nation of freedom and justice. Help us never to forget what was done here for us. To be with those who carry the mantel forward for us today and the days to come.
Now, may the Lord bless you and keep you. May His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord look on you with favor and give you His peace.
On motion of Senator McGILL, with unanimous consent, the Senate stood adjourned out of respect to the memory of Ms. Suleaner Wickerson of Williamsburg, S.C. Mrs. Wickerson passed away on Sunday, February 11, 2007, at the spry age of 104.
At 1:00 P.M., on motion of Senator McCONNELL, the Senate adjourned to meet next Tuesday, February 20, 2007, at 12:00 Noon.
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