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he displayed. He said, "It is ludicrous enough; but what could you expect? The reporter was both drunk and deaf; of course, he could not be in a condition to report." Knowing the strictness of the reporter's temperance principles, and the quick sensibility of his ear, we expressed astonishment at the remark, and inquired what it could mean. "Why," said Mr. Holmes, "I saw him with a number of Champagne bottles about him, so I take it for granted he was drunk, and that he is deaf we have his own evidence, for he says in his report that he could not hear." We asked no further explanations.
Let us now fall back on the regular course of our narrative. Isaac E. Holmes was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on the 6th of April, 1796. His parents were of English origin. His paternal grandfather removed from Boston to South Carolina, and was one of the king's council in Charleston. He died before the Revolution, leaving three sons, all of whom bore arms for their country in the war of '76. Mr. Holmes's father was wounded at the battle of Savannah, and was an officer until the end of the war. His maternal grandfather, John Edwards, was an Englishman by birth, and emigrated when young to South Carolina. He engaged in trade, and amassed wealth in Charleston. He was an early asserter of colonial rights, hesitated not to peril his fortune, and was one of the Committee of Safety when the battle of Fort Moultrie was fought. When Charleston fell, he was offered protection by the British commander; which having refused, he was sent, with General Gadsden and other patriots, to the dungeons of St. Augustine. He never more returned to his wife and children, but had the satisfaction of knowing, before he died, that the independence of his country was established, although no treaty of peace had been negotiated, and that his sons were all soldiers in the cause for which he perished.
Isaac E. was educated at the best schools of Charleston. At the age of twelve, he was transferred to the private tuition of the Reverend Christopher Gadsden, then rector of the parish of St. John Berkley, and now episcopal bishop of the diocese of South Carolina—a relative, under whose instruction he made more rapid progress in his studies during the three succeeding years than he had made in all the previous years of his scholarship. At the age of fifteen he entered Yale College, where he remained four years, and where, in the year 1815, he graduated with the honors of the university. In the summer of 1814 he received the promise of a commission in the army, which he was to join in the next campaign, when Mr. Monroe, then Secretary of War, had projected a descent upon. Canada with one hundred thousand troops. The peace came, however, and his anticipated laurels never bloomed. He then returned to his native city, after an absence of four years.
He devoted himself at once to the study of the law, and was admitted to the bar in 1818, having about that time been married to a cousin, Mary Holmes. His attention was assiduously given to his profession, relieved, however, by an occasional essay in the journals of the day. When Irving's Sketch Book made its appearance, he published, anonymously, an imitation of it, under the title of "Recreations of George Taletell." This book was much commended, and the author inquired for. A friend, to whom the secret of the authorship had been intrusted, revealed it in an unguarded moment, and thus defeated a design which Mr. Holmes had formed of publishing a series of Carolina tales, or descriptions of country life in the South; for, at that time, a notion prevailed, that if a man turned author he must cease to be a lawyer.
We can not take leave of these early sketches without transferring to our pages the following instance of negro fidelity, as
"THE STORY OF TOM.
"At the surrender of Charleston, many of the ladies retired into the country, to avoid the insolence of the British troops, and enjoy the satisfaction of sometimes seeing their husbands, who then waged a partisan war under General Marion. But as either Tories or English soldiers were stationed over that portion of country to which they had retired, it was not without imminent peril the officers ever ventured from the American camp to pay a visit to their families. On one of these occasions, however, my uncle, who the night before had readied his plantation in safety, was sitting at table with his wife and children, when a party of British dragoons were discovered riding briskly toward the house. To have remained would have been death; yet the only mode of escape was through the back door into the garden, and thence into the deep shades of the swamp. This was effected; but the enemy, having learned the circumstance, resolved on discovering the place of his retreat, which Tom [who was the body-servant of Mr. Holmes's uncle] was supposed to be acquainted with, and was so in reality. But no offer could induce the faithful fellow to violate his trust —no threats could terrify him into a discovery; when, at last, a sergeant, exasperated at what he termed the fellow's obstinacy, drew out a pistol and shot him down. Fortunately, the wound was not mortal, and Tom yet lives, the greatest hero, except his master, in the estimation of all the negroes."
Mr. Holmes was successful at the bar. In 1823, an insurrectionary movement among the negroes excited in Charleston, for the first time, a suspicion, amounting, in many minds, to conviction, that there was a party in the North tampering with Southern institutions. Mr. Holmes associated himself with a number of gentlemen, mostly Southern planters, and formed a society, under the title of the "South Carolina Association." It embraced the names of some of the most wealthy and distinguished citizens. The object was to watch the movements of this party in the North, and to prevent, if possible, the access to the slave population of emissaries or peddlers of pamphlets. The association procured from the Legislature a law prohibiting the entrance of free persons of color into the State, and the right to imprison all colored seamen who might be brought into its waters. The third section of this law was in the following words:
"And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any vessel shall come into any port or harbor of this state, from any other state or foreign port, having on board any free negroes or persons of color, as cooks, stewards, mariners, or in any other employment on board of said vessel, such free negroes or persons of color shall be liable to be seized and confined in jail, until said vessel shall clear out and depart from this state; and that, when said vessel is ready to sail, the captain of said vessel shall be bound to carry away the said free negro or free person of color, and to pay the expenses of his detention; and, in case of his neglect or refusal so to do, he shall be liable to be indicted, and, on conviction thereof, shall be ftned in a sum not less than one thousand dollars, and imprisoned not less than two months; and such free negroes or persons of color shall be deemed and taken as absolute slaves, and sold in conformity with the provisions of the act passed on the twentieth day of December, 1820, aforesaid."
Under this section, a colored cook was taken from a British merchantman and imprisoned. His majesty's consul at Charleston applied to the circuit judge of the United States for a habeas corpus. Mr. Holmes was engaged as counsel to resist the liberation of the cook, and to maintain the constitutionality of the state enactment. The subject was one of intense excitement. The question at issue was declared to be the ability of self-protection. Mr. Holmes took strong ground, even to the extent of avowing that, "rather than yield this necessary right, ho would see the Union periled;" and he urged firmness among the members of the association, without regard to what might be the judicial decision of the question. The judge decided in favor of liberating the negro. The address of Mr. Holmes was considered inflammatory by the judge, and so reported to the State Department; and Mr. Holmes was accused of speaking of disunion as a light matter in comparison with the obligation of maintaining the state law. This led to a series of essays in the " Charleston Mercury," written by the late distinguished Robert J. Turnbull and Mr. Holmes, signed "Caroliniensis." These essays attracted much attention. The ablest of them, Mr. Holmes, with self-denying modesty, says wero written by Mr. Turnbull. The latter gentleman, as he advanced, began to investigate the relation of the states to the general government—to scrutinize the powers exercised by it, and to look into the Constitution and its history, until, finally, he commenced a series of essays called '' The Crisis," and signed "Brutus." In this publication he invited ■Mr. Holmes to join, who declined to do so, exhorting Mr. Turnbull to write alone, and to establish his own fame. The essays were altogether the work of the last-named gentleman. They havo been published in a large pamphlet, and will stand a perpetual memorial of the talents, the virtues, and the learning of their author. The tariff, which pressed so heavily on the South, was fully examined; the evils indicted by unlimited Federal legislation were vividly pictured; the limited powers of the general government were denned; the right and duty of the states to prevent further encroachments were graphically outlined; and the attention of the entire South, but more especially of South Carolina, was awakened. Her politicians in Congress were described as men lulled to sleep by the genial influences of tho Federal atmosphere. Her people were urged to take the matter into their own hands, and begin the work of reform. Agitation was thus commenced, and resistance was openly threatened by the people of South Carolina to that which they denounced as the unjust taxation of Congress. Thus prepared by these celebrated essays, the spirits of South Carolina called up the abler spirits who represented her in the halls of Foderal legislation, and the answer was, "We will stand by our little state in weal or in woe."
In 1826, at the first dawning of resistance, Mr. Holmes was sent to the State Legislature. In 1828, the tariff, considered so burdensome by the South, was passed by Congress. At the following session of the State Legislature, Mr. Holmes moved that the state should " at once resolve upon resistance, and refuse to pay the unjust duties." This he proposed should be done without even the forms of a convention, but simply by legislative enactment. The resolution was defeated by an overwhelming majority, only twelve members voting with Mr. Holmes. He was deemed a restless spirit; the attention of the people was awakened; parties were formed, under the denomination of State-rights men and Union men; and at the next election for the Legislature, Mr. Holmes was left out as a dangerous man. In Charleston the Union men got a majority, but the agitation stiil went on. In 1832, another tariff was passed by Congress, and another state election held. Mr. Holmes was returned, and voted for what is known as " Nullification," which Mr. Jefferson had pronounced the "rightful remedy," and which, in the judgment of Mr. Calhoun, was intended by the Constitution as a remedy. Our readers will perceive that, in this place, it is not pur business to enter into the details of that great struggle, which for a time threatened the peace of the Union. Those details belong to another page of our history.
Mr. Holmes, declaring that he cared nothing about the name, because it was the thing. he wanted, went for resistance under any name. He avowed that when rights were invaded under