USCB to host Saga of Secession tour led by two acclaimed historians

saga-map Charleston was agog with excitement in the early morning of December 20, 1860. Crowds had gathered in the streets and waited through the night.  Finally news broke that the Ordinance of Secession was ready for signatures.  The 169 delegates, led by members of the Beaufort District, unanimously voted and signed the parchment document.  South Carolina became the first state of the Union to secede!

– from Dr. Lawrence Rowland’s book, The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina

Join the USCB Saga of Secession historic tour on Saturday, December 18, 2010 on the 150th anniversary of the signing and learn the answers to these questions: Who were these Beaufort Planters who led this rebellion? What circumstances led them to endanger the life they loved with this radical act?

The tour is led by two of the nation’s top historians on Secession and the Civil War.

saga-john-mccardellDr. John M. McCardell Jr. is the 16th President and Vice Chancellor of the University of the South. His doctoral dissertation, The Idea of a Southern Nation, was published by Norton & Co. and after 18 years continues to be one of the most cogent discussions of the rise of Southern nationalism in the mid-19th century.saga-stephen-wise

Dr. Stephen R. Wise is the Director of the Parris Island historic museum and Cultural Resource Manager of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot.  Wise has two books on the Civil War:  Lifeline of the Confederacy: Blockade Running During the Civil War and Gate of Hell: The Campaign for Charleston Harbor 1863. A PBS documentary was made of Gate of Hell in 2006.

The Saga of Secession tour is sponsored by the University of South Carolina Beaufort Continuing Education and begins at the historic campus in Beaufort on Carteret Street.  Tour sites are:

Beaufort: The stage is set at the Elizabeth Barnwell Gough House, c. 1789, home of the grandparents of the “father of Secession”, Robert Barnwell Rhett and his childhood home.

Bluffton: Learn about the nullification/tariff crises of 1828-1832 then beneath the legendary Secession Oak hear about the Bluffton Movement.

Rose Hill Plantation: Lunch under the oaks and tour the mansion as well as view the First Flag of the Secession.

Gillisonville: Learn about the Southern Rights Association statement of principle and hear the Secession Declaration of Beaufort District at Gillisonville in 1850.

Grahamville: Visit historic Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and hear the Call for Southern Nationalism by Robert Barnwell Rhett in 1859.

Beaufort: Enroute from Grahamville, learn of other contributing events such as John Brown’s raid, Democratic Convention in Charleston, election of Abraham Lincoln.

Edmund Rhett House, Secession House, c. 1813: Final act of Secession with the signing of the Ordinance of Secession, December 20, 1860.

To Register: The Saga of Secession is sponsored by the University of South Carolina Beaufort Continuing Education.  Reservations are necessary by calling 843-521-4147 or email at  Reservations are $100 per person and include lectures, tour visits, lunch, bus travel and brochure. All-day tour begins at Historic Beaufort campus at 9:30 am.  Mail checks to USCB Continuing Education, 801 Carteret St., Beaufort, SC 29902.

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