The American Tort Reform Association puts out an annual report ranking what it terms “America’s most unfair jurisdictions in which to be sued.” It calls these locales “judicial hellholes.”
Perhaps it’s time someone began detailing the “academic hellholes” that dot our nation’s landscape.
A viable contender for such a title would be Clarendon County.
A quick glance at SAT results released Monday might not offer clear evidence as to what classifies Clarendon as an academic hellhole. The county has three districts and while all scored well below the national average (Clarendon 1, average SAT score 1325; Clarendon 2, 1457; Clarendon 3, 1417), they were far from the worst in South Carolina.
The rare copy of the SC Ordinance of Secession up for sale at an auction this month in New York once belonged to Edward McCrady, a prominent Charleston lawyer who actually opposed secession in the early years of the states’ rights effort but later changed his mind and resigned a federal district attorney position before signing the ordinance.
The lithograph will be part of Swann Auction Galleries’ Printed & Manuscript Americana sale on Sept. 30. The document’s estimated value is $10,000-$15,000, but the passion for Civil War items could push its selling price higher, Rick Stattler, Swann’s director of printed and manuscript Americana, told The State newspaper.
The document, considered by many historians as the official beginning of the War Between the States, was drafted during a constitutional convention that began at First Baptist Church in Columbia Dec. 17, 1860, and ended three days later in Charleston.
The ordinance states that South Carolina has repealed the Constitution and disassociated itself from the United States. Other states in the South followed suit over the next few months, and the bloody combat raged from 1861 to 1865, claiming 620,000 lives.
Evidence of the value of incentives is shown in brief history lesson provided by Alex Tabarrok of George Mason University.
Taborrok relates that back in the 1700s, the British government paid sea captains to take felons to Australia. Initially, it didn’t work so well, Tabarrok says:
About a third of the males on one particularly horrific voyage died. The rest arrived beaten, starved, and sick. I mean, they were hobbling off, those who were lucky enough to survive.