Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> South-Carolina in the Revolution >> Page 49

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 49

Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
" South-Carolina," [remarks this gentleman,] " with a north-
ern army to assist her, could not, or would not, even preserve
her own capital ! How was it at Charleston ?
That city was the great mart of the south . . . . the
centre of the export and import trade of a large population.
In grandeur, in splendour of building, in decorations, in equi
pages, in shipping and commerce, Charleston was equal to
any city in America ; but its citizens did not rally to save it,
and General Lincoln was compelled to accept terms of capitu-
The grandeur and wealth of Charleston, her shipping and
commerce, were, in truth, the sources of her weakness. Her
wealth invited the attempts of the most formidable fleet and
army which Great Britain had ever sent against America ;
and her shipping and commerce—her export and import trade
—were in the .hands of British and aliens. These were pow-
ers, which, in her own bowels, were hostile to her safety. The
persons who represented these forces, were chiefly those who
subsequently became the addressors of Clinton. They were
mostly foreigners. To this point we have referred already.
But what does Mr. Sabine mean when he says, that South-
Carolina would not, or could not, maintain her own capital ?
He evidently means you to understand that the place was un-
defended—given up to the enemy. at the first surnrnons, with-
out striking a blow. " Its citizens did not rally to save it, and
General Lincoln was compelled to accept of terms of capitu-
lation." This language certainly forbids the idea of any de-
fence—and, by the way, the previous opinion of Washington,
and most of the other officers of the army, was that it could
not be defended, and that the defence was unwisely attempted
—and we should scarcely imagine, from this statement, unless
otherwise informed, that a leaguer of nearly two months, was
maintained, by a force less than half the number of the assail-
ants, behind the most trifling geld-works, with inferior artil -