A copy of the 1860 Ordinance of Secession, the document many historians point to as the official start of the Civil War, sold at auction for $25,000, well over the pre-sale estimate.
With the auction buyer’s premium of 20 percent, the buyer actually will pay $30,000 for the document, one of 200 copies of the ordinance created for the men who originally signed it.
The bidding at Swann Auction Galleries in New York on Thursday drew tremendous interest. There were several advance bids, seven bidders by phone and several more at the auction, said Rick Stattler, Swann’s director of printed and manuscript Americana. Swann didn’t have permission to give out information on the buyer other than to say it was a South Carolina collector.
South Carolina’s Ordinance of Secession was drafted during a constitutional convention that began 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 The ordinance states that South Carolina has repealed the Constitution and disassociated itself from the United States.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.