THE FIRST CONFEDERATE IMPRINT (CIVIL WAR--CONFEDERATE.) Charleston Mercury Extra . . . The Union is Dissolved! Letterpress broadside, 23 3/4 x 12 inches; early repairs at folds, foxing and toning. Charleston, SC, 20 December 1860
Estimate $10,000 - 15,000
the first printing of the first act of secession, printed just fifteen minutes after the final vote, essentially announcing the birth of the Confederacy and beginning of the Civil War. The printers were well aware of the significance of the news, emphasizing the THE UNION IS DISSOLVED in large block letters. This broadside includes the full text of "An Ordinance to Dissolve the Union between the State of South Carolina and other States," which concludes that "the union now subsisting between South Carolina and the other States, under the name of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved." "Immediately on the declaration of the vote the door-keeper was apprised. He gave the word to the policeman nearest him. It was passed from mouth to mouth until it reached the sentinel at the tall iron gate at the entrance, and by him was proclaimed to the impatient crowd. Cheer after cheer rent the air. In less than fifteen minutes the Charleston Mercury had issued an extra giving the text of the ordinance, and the news that it had been unanimously adopted"--Rhodes, History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850, page III:198. Harwell, Cornerstones of Confederate Collecting, page 6; Ray O. Hummel, Southeastern Broadsides, 2434; Sabin 87439; Streeter sale II:1271.