Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> II. >> Page 62

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 62

Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
an apparent necessity, which results in receiving our books
from the North ; but the consequence has been a constant
obscuration of the achievements of our people, the disparage-
ment of their claims when stated, and the assumption of the
merits of the performance, on the part of those who, in reali-
ty, did but little, or who wrought mischievously.
Now, we must not be understood as imputing any of this
disposition to disparage South-Carolina, past or present, to the
able and amiable writer before us. Mr. Kennedy is one of those
gentlemen whom we highly esteem, as well for his great pri-
vate worth, his purity and integrity of character, as for his
endowments as a literary man. But Mr. Kennedy, like many
others, has been misled by the false statements of superficial
or corrupt historians, who are quite too numerous in our coun-
try, and who abuse the confidence of the reader, sometimes
through their own ignorance and haste, sometimes through
sectional prejudices, and, not unfrequently, because they aim
to subserve the purposes of party. Following such blind
guides, there are, accordingly, several errors in the summary
which our author makes, at the opening of the twelfth chap-
ter, in reference to South-Carolina. Ile says, for example :
" It was the misfortune of South-Carolina, during the revo-
lutionary war, to possess a numerous party, less attached to
the Union, or more tainted with disaffection, than the inhabi-
tants of any of the other States."
We join issue with him upon the fact. In the first place,
the act of the revolution was the incipient state of union, and
attachment to the Union, as we now regard it, was not to be
predicated of a people, or the want of it charged unfavourably
against them, while the Union was yet in an untried condition
—a thing purely in embryo. But this does not affect the
question. We deny that the disaffection was greater in South-
Carolina than in New-York or Pennsylvania. The opinion