The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 36, July 1932 - April, 1933

Book Reviews and Notices

abolitionists, thought Ruffin, but if war came the South would
win. Independence would have many benefits. By 1852 Ruffin
had changed from a Southerner to a Southern nationalist, whose
political philosophy was that slavery must be continued and even
expanded. In 1857, writing in the Charleston Mercury, he said
that the more southern states must secede first and the "gradual
secession would . .. avoid the clash that might follow a
mass movement." At Montgomery, Alabama, in May, 1858, as
a delegate to a commercial vonvention, he had the opportunity
to forward "the Union of the Southern States" for secession and
prevailed on William L. Yancey to launch a movement for South-
ern independence. When John Brown was executed at Charles-
ton, Virginia, on December 2, 1859, Ruffin was on hand and
again advocated secession. When it appeared that the Southern
conservatives would wait for Lincoln's "overt act" before seced-
ing, Ruffin once more urged Yancey to work for secession. He
was in Columbia, South Carolina, on November 10, 1860, when
the legislature called the secession convention and in Charleston
on December 20, 1860, when the convention declared for seces-
sion. He was present when the Florida convention acted, but
sickness prevented his attendance upon the Georgia convention.
Happy indeed was he when the first seven states had seceded.
Because Virginia would not secede he left the state in order not
to be a Virginian under Lincoln's government. In Charleston
the Palmetto Guards chose him to fire the first shot on Fort
Sumter. Thus "his long struggle for secession" was brought to
a climax; "the object of years of effort was being realized."
R. L. BIESELE.
The Swisher Memoirs. By Col. John M. Swisher. Edited by
Rena Maverick Green. Copyrighted by Mrs. J. R. Blocker.
(The Sigmund Press, Inc., San Antonio. Pages 63.)
Portions of this booklet were published in 1879 in The Ameri-
can Sketch Book (Austin, Texas). Very few copies of that tran-
sitory magazine have survived, and the editor has done well to
retrieve these sprightly memories and put them into more per-
manent form. There are seven chapters: Tenoxtitlan, Washing-
ton County, Davy Crockett, the Fall of the Alamo, San Jacinto,

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 36, July 1932 - April, 1933. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101093/. Accessed August 20, 2014.