Printing begun approximately 15 minutes after secession ordinance passed. As South Carolina was the first state to secede, this broadside is the first Confederate imprint. Rarity, historical importance, and graphic appeal combine to make the Charleston Mercury Extra one of the most sought-after of all American broadsides.
Transcript: “CHARLESTON MERCURY EXTRA: Passed unanimously at 1.15 o’clock, P.M., December 20th, 1860 AN ORDINANCE To dissolve the Union between the State of South Carolina and other States united with her under the compact entitled ‘The Constitution of the United States of America.’ We, the People of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, That the Ordinance adopted by us in Convention, on the twenty-third day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and also, all acts and parts of Acts of the General Assembly of this State, ratifying amendments of the said Constitution are hereby repealed; and that the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States, under the name of ‘The United States of America,’ is hereby dissolved. THE UNION IS DISSOLVED!” Beginning with the nullification controversy of 1832, South Carolina became the hotbed of states’ rights sentiment.