Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/62

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58 Southern Historiml Society Papers.

hospitable, and practica'ly kept open house. As a host, he was generous, liberal and free. We can't help but admire such a char- acter. No one likes a man who is close, mean and stingy. . No one likes the company of a man who is sullen, morose and taciturn. We are delighted to meet a warm-hearted, whole-souled, hale-fellow-well- met style of man like Mr. Petigru.

In his home life Mr. Petigru was in every way a model. He was devoted to his mother, wife and other members of his household, and in return received their warmest love and affection. His wife was for many years an invalid, and it is touching to see how delicate and tender he was in his attention to her. Oftentimes he himself would go to the market to procure something suited to her taste.

We have reserved for the last the great, over-shadowing feature of Mr. Petigru' s character, namely, his politics and stand on public questions. Here he stands out conspicuously in his devotion to principle and duty. He was no time-server. He did not trim his sails to catch the popular breeze. He had the courage of his con- victions. He believed in doing right, let the consequences be what they may. He was no demagogue. . He would not condescend to lower his standard to gain office. He would not pander to the pub- lic taste, and he was far above appealing to the prejudices and lower elements of our nature. He was all his life on the minority side of politics. He was a Union man and was opposed to nulification and secession. In Carolina at that time his was an exceedingly unpopu- lar stand to take. Indeed South Carolina was the leader in both these movements. Our people had but little sympathy for those who entertained opposite ideas on these subjects. And yet there were a few men in the State who, especially in the secession move- ment, dared to run counter to the prevailing sentiment, cost what it might. Among them I may name Gov. B. F. Perry, Judge J. B. O'Neal, Gov. James L. Orr and Mr. Petigru. . These constituted in several respects a remarkable group of men. In the first place they were beginning to reach the shady side of life, with the exception of Mr. Orr, who was then in his prime. In the second place they were calm, cool-headed men, and conservative in their ideas and views. In the third place they were men of high character, wide experi- ence and more than average ability. They loved South Carolina. She was their native State and was as dear to them as the apple of the eye. Around and about her were centered their affections and interests. They well knew that their own fate was united and inter- woven with the destiny of their beloved commonwealth. They knew