“By scissors! that you would, Captain; you ha’n’t an idee what a mighty site our people can do if they’re a mind to! All South Carolina wants is her constitutional rights, which her great men fought for in the Revolution. We want the freedom to protect our own rights and institutions—not to be insulted and robbed by the General Government and the abolitionists.”
“Do you practice as a people upon the same principles that you ask of the General Government!” inquired the Captain.
“Certainly, Captain, as far as it was intended for the judicious good of all white citizens!”
“Then you claim a right for the whites, but withhold the right when it touches on the dark side. You’ll have to lick the Federal Government, as you call it, for they won’t cut the constitution up to suit your notions of black and white.” * * *
“That’s just the thing, Cap, and we can do it just as easy as we now protect our own laws, and exterminate the niggers what attempt insurrections. South Carolina sets an example, sir, of honor and bravery that can’t be beat. Why, just look a-yonder, Cap: the Federal Government owns this ’er Fort Sumpter, and they insulted us by building it right in our teeth, so that they could command the harbor, block out our commerce, and collect the duties down here. But, Cap, this don’t scare South Carolina nohow. We can show ’em two figures in war tactics that’d blow ’em to thunder. Ye see yonder!” said he, with an earnest look of satisfaction, pointing to the south, “That’s Morris Island. We’d take Fort Moultrie for a breakfast spell, and then we’d put it to ’em hot and strong from both sides, until they’d surrender Fort Sumpter. They couldn’t stand it from both sides. Yes, sir, they shut Fort Moultrie against us, and wouldn’t let us have it to celebrate independence in. There’s a smouldering flame in South Carolina that’ll burst forth one of these days in a way that must teach the Federal Government some astonishing and exciting lessons. There’s old Castle Pinckney, sir; we could keep it for a reserve, and with Generals Quattlebum and Commander, from Georgetown and Santee Swamp, we could raise an army of Palmetto regiments that would whip the Federal Government troop and gun-boat.”
We have given this singular conversation of the pilot with a strange Captain, which at the time was taken as an isolated case of gasconade peculiar to the man; but which the Captain afterward found to harmonize in sentiment, feeling, and expression with the general character of the people—the only exceptions being the colored people.
Arrival of the Janson.
About five o’clock on the evening of the 23d, the Janson passed Castle Pinckney, ran up to the wharf with the flood-tide, let go her anchor, and commenced warping into the dock. Her condition attracted sundry persons to the end of the wharf, who viewed her with a sort of commiseration that might have been taken for sincere feeling. The boarding officer had received her papers, and reported her character and condition, which had aroused a feeling of speculative curiosity, that was already beginning to spread among ship-carpenters and outfitters.