Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The South Carolina Federalists


Original material for Southern history has been so scarce at the centres where American historiographers have worked, that the general writers have had to substitute conjecture for understanding in many cases when attempting to interpret Southern developments. The Federalists of the South have suffered particularly from misrepresentation and neglect. Their Democratic-Republican contemporaries of course abused them; the American public at large in the following generation was scandalized by the course of the New England Federalists, and placed a stigma upon all who bore or had borne the name of Federalists anywhere; no historical monographs have made the pertinent data available; and the standard historians, with the exception of Henry Adams, who has indicated a sound interpretation in the form of conjecture but who has given no data, have failed to handle the theme with any approach to adequacy. The South Carolina group appears to have been typical of the whole Southern wing of the Federalists; and because of the greater fullness of the extant documents and the more apparent unity of the theme, the present essay will treat of the origin, character and early career of the party in the state where it was most prominent, rather than in the Southern region at large.

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