Wednesday, November 14, 1860
As times went on, the pull for secession increased. This is especially true in Charleston. On the 14th, The Philadelphia Pennsylvanian sent a series of telegraphs from the seaboard city to its base in Philly.
The feeling of secession grows stronger. Many openly express the fear that Alabama or Georgia will secede before South Carolina holds her Convention, and thus rob her of her long-coveted glory. Some even express the hope that it will not be a peaceful secession, but desire blood to be spilt to cement it forever.
It was also relayed that a fully grown palmetto tree (a long-time symbol of South Carolina and now of secession) was somehow transplanted to Broad Street. On Meeting Street, a large Liberty Pole was raised. “A large number of banners, bearing the device of a Palmetto tree, with a lone star, have been hung out in various parts of the city during the day.”
Some of the reports seemed a bit more serious: “The firemen in this city, who number about fifteen hundred, have organized themselves into military companies, and drill nightly.”
At the urging of the citizens of Charleston, the mayor detached a company of the Washington Light Infantry (a state militia unit) to guard the arsenal, which housed a large quantity of arms. The intent was to guard against the secession mob arming themselves, but there was also a report of an “unsuccessful attempt … made to-day by troops to remove the government arms from the arsenal in the city to Fort Moultrie.”
In Milledgeville, Georgia, United States senator, Alexander Stephens gave a speech of his own – a reply to Robert Toombs speech made the day before. He stated that though Lincoln would “subvert the constitution,” the south must not rush to secession. “Shall the people of the South secede from the Union…? My countrymen, I tell you frankly, candidly, and earnestly, that I do not think that they ought.” Though any state had the right to leave the Union, he hoped that it would not come to such a thing.