Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> South-Carolina in the Revolution >> Page 13

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Page 13

Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
" Whig leaven." The simple fact, which this gentleman must
yet learn to appreciate, is, that the character of a country does
not depend upon the opinions of the mass, and is not deter-
minable by the direction which its mere numbers may please
to take. For this reason, it was by no means necessary that
all of the people of South-Carolina should have united in
the common cause or sentiment. It is quite enough if there
be a sufficient number to give impulse to the action, and to
determine the conduct and decision of the State ; and the
merit is the greater when this impulse is given to the body
politic, so as to compel its action, by only a certain proportion
of the people, and in spite of the active opposition, or the in-
ert resistance of mere masses among the rest. So far from
believing, or asserting, the sentiment of her people to have
been unanimous, or nearly so, it is, on the contrary, the pecu-
liar boast of South-Carolina, that, with her population almost
equally divided, in consequence of the very causes that Mr.
Sabine enumerates arising from the absence of the degree
of homogeneity so necessary in politics to the common action
—she was yet able to achieve so much--to send into the field
a large proportion of the noblest and ablest captains of the
revolution, and into the councils of the nation so many of the
boldest politicians and wisest statesmen. Her merit consists
in having been able, while contending at home against a pow-
erful and bitter faction, to make contributions of strength,
valour, wisdom and patriotism, to the common cause, which
no other State in the Union, though, perhaps, better circum-
stanced, has ever exceeded. Mr. Sabine is, in some degree,
compelled to make this acknowledgement, but he does it as
costively as possible. He admits the Rutledge's and Marions',
the Laurens's and Sumters',--the chiefs and sages but doubts
the commonalty; as if officers and leaders, achieving such
successes--winning, in fact, names and reputations which