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James Louis Petigru

St. Michael's Churchyard, Charleston, South Carolina

Born at
Abbeville May lOth 1789
Died at Charleston March 9th 1863


Future times will hardly know how great a life
This simple stone commemorates-
The tradition of his Eloquence, his Wisdom and his Wit may fade:
But he lived for ends more durable than fame,
His Eloquence was the protection of the poor and wronged;
His Learning illuminated the principles of Law-
In the admiration of his Peers,
In the respect of his People,
In the affection of his Family
His was the highest place;
The just meed
Of his kindness and forbearance
His dignity and simplicity
His brilliant genius and his unwearied industry
Unawed by Opinion,
Unseduced by Flattery,
Undismayed by Disaster,
He confronted Life with antique Courage
And Death with Christian Hope.

In the great Civil War
He withstood his People for his Country
But his People did homage to the Man
Who held his conscience higher than their praise
And his Country
Heaped her honors on the grave of the Patriot,
To whom living,
His own righteous self-respect sufficed Alike for Motive and Reward.

"Nothing is here for tears, nothing to wail,
Or knock the breast; no weakness, no contempt,
Dispraise or blame; nothing but well and fair
And what may quiet us in a life so noble."

Petigru opposed South Carolina's secession from the Union.