Archive for April 10th, 2005

Minutemen and Regulators

I have been reading a book called The History of Edgefield County (South Carolina). It is an 1890 book that was never reprinted.

After all, there are some aspects of Massachusetts history and the history of Jewish migration into New York City that have not yet been covered, so who has time for South Carolina?

Anyway, one problem that Edgefield County, which is on the northwestern edge of South Carolina, had was that all the law courts were in Charleston. Taking a felon all the way from Edgefield to Charleston was not worthwhile.

So Edgefield set up its own vigilantes. Students of Southern history will know the term they went by, The Regulators.

At first, the authorities in Charleston raised hell that Edgefield would dare take the law into their own hands that way. But those “vigilantes” forced them to put law courts in Edgefield County.

Which reminds me of the Minute Men on the Mexican border today. You can take action or you can sit there and beg. The authorities don’t care if you beg. But if you take the law into your own hands and threaten their power and their livelihood, it is a whole different matter.