Detail of the Ordinance of Secession, 1860

Slavery at South Carolina College, 1801–1865:

The Foundations of the University of South Carolina

Signers of the Ordinance of Secession

South Carolina’s secession convention held in December 1860 justified its Ordinance of Secession squarely in terms of threats to slavery. The “Declaration of Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina” stated:

“We affirm that these ends for which the Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assumed the right of deciding upon the property of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disrupt the peace and to eloign [remove] the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.”

Many signers of the Secession Ordinance graduated from South Carolina College:

  • Robert T. Allison, Class of 1821
  • John Buchanan, Class of 1842
  • Langdon Cheves, Class of 1833
  • Richard DeTreville, Class of 1855
  • Daniel DuPre, Class of 1814
  • Daniel Flood, Class of 1839
  • Thomas M. Hanckel, Class of 1840
  • Isaac W. Hayne, Class of 1858
  • A. G. Magrath, Class of 1831
  • Gabriel Manigault, Class of 1828
  • Alexander Mazyck, Class of 1826
  • Henry McIver, Class of 1846
  • John Hugh Means, Class of 1832
  • C. G. Memminger, Class of 1819
  • John Izard Middleton, Class of 1853
  • Edward Noble, Class of 1844
  • Thomas Chiles Perrin, Class of 1826
  • E. M. Seabrook, Class of 1841
  • Albertus Chambers Spain, Class of 1841
  • David Louis Wardlaw, Class of 1816
  • William Blackburn Wilson, Class of 1846