In reviewing and indorsing the work of these various meetings, the editor of the Mercury drew a picture which was surely an exaggeration. He contrasted the situation of South Carolina then with her condition a few years earlier, and contended that by the tariff South Carolina had been transformed from a garden to a wilderness. For these meetmgs and complaints, however, the participants were censured by "all the presses in the pay of the administration, led on and marshalled by the National Intelligencer." These
- Mercury, August 23, 1828: "Many can well remember the time when the sails of our commerce whitened every sea; when our planters were well remunerated for their labor; when improvements were daily adding to the size and beauty of our towns; when industry of all kinds was abundantly employed and amply rewarded; and when ease and contentment marked the circumstances and reigned in the hearts of all classes of our people. But that time has passed, and, as we fear, forever.
"Government thought proper to interfere in our concerns and has succeeded at last, by continued acts of injustice and oppression, in blighting the hopes and ruining the prospects of our people. Commerce, which once poured its treasures at our feet, is now driven from our shores. Agriculture, which amply repaid the labor of our planters, now scarcely affords them a bare subsistence. Plantations, once the abode of elegance and wealth, have been deserted and abandoned. Property, once immensely valuable, has fallen to less than half its value. Industry no longer finds employment. Poverty and embarrassment universally prevail, and nothing is to be seen or heard, from the seaboard to the mountains, but the signs of decay and the language of despair."