Talk:Abbeville, South Carolina
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The Abbeville Horror
This is absolutely accurate name for what happened. It IS a horror that the Government can step in and take away people's land whenever they want. Shooting the messengers was not right, and perhaps these three do deserve the death penalty. But, I can not blame them in the least for being so angry about loosing their property. Now... This section doesn't read right to me. It seems like an attack on all people who don't "recognize government authority," even though sometimes Government oversteps its authority (consent of the governed). This does not read like an unbiased encyclopedia article, and completely distracts from the subject at hand, Abbeville, South Carolina. I'd prefer that the author re-write this section to made it less of an attack on individuals, and more about the town. However, if the author does not, I will re-write this section myself, leaving the important facts. How about more on the downtown area, "session hill," or the Burt Stark Mansion? 22.214.171.124 00:48, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
- I find it interesting that you have such a staunch opinion on this matter, yourself, yet you choose not to log in and create a talk page to facilitate further discussion. As it happens, there's the bothersome business of facts:
- The State of South Carolina purchased the (questioned portion of) right-of-way for 72 from Haskell Johnson in August 1960. Johnson owned the Bixby plot long before Steven Bixby was even born. SCDOT was planning ahead, as 72 had been planned as a 4-lane from Clinton, SC to Atlanta, from its conception. It just happened that it was about 40+ years before the state got around to completely realizing the planned construction of 72. The Haskell->State transfer, I am sure, is on file with the Abbeville County Registry of Deeds (in fact, I'm sure SCDOT has a copy on file, as well - it's bound to come up when the Bixbys go to trial in October 2006). Hence, the Bixbys had absolutely no legal basis for even dreaming that they owned the 10 feet (or however big the parcel was) of land that the State wanted. Furthermore, from what I have read, and been informed of by members of the Abbeville city government, the Bixbys had an opportunity to purchase from SC for a token $1, a strip of land that was larger than the state-appropriated strip! In summary, the State was doing nothing more than collecting a plot of land secured by lawful deed transfer 46 years ago. How is this "Government overstepping its authority"? If I deed you my house today, do you not have the right to collect the house at any time between now and the end of time? And if you were to sell the deed to your friend Barney, wouldn't Barney have the just and legal right to come and collect the house at any time between the you->Barney transfer and the end of time?
- I agree that we probably should not mention Abbeville as favoring the death penalty for the Bixbys, as that flies in the face of NPOV now that I think of it. But it is the case, off the record, that nearly every single Abbeville resident I have spoken to favors this penalty. I have been to Abbeville many times, and can say in all truth, that it is most certainly not the kind of town that is used to militia-like standoffs or violent murder, justified or not. Thus there tends to be a rather intense reaction to such, particularly when Abbeville must unexpectedly bury two of her sons.
- I will look at rewriting this section, but I do believe that the facts should be borne out. The land belonged to the State from 1960, the Bixbys (violently - if a 7mm at point-blank range does not constitute "violent", then I know not what does) killed Wilson and Ouzts on December 8, 2003; and I feel that reporting such in an NPOV manner is completely within the realm of what is appropriate for an article on the town of Abbeville.
- The existence of "paper terrorists" and revolutionary citizens does deserve mention, in my opinion. The SPLC Web site features a lengthy article on such activity in both Abbeville and neighboring Anderson Counties, and most residents of the area will back up such a report. The flocking of these anti-government persons to the Abbeville region is both a concern and a problem for the region, hence it is of worthwhile mention in the Abbeville article (or perhaps the Abbeville County article).
- I would be happy to add information on the Court Square, Secession Hill, and Burt-Stark Mansion. If you're interested, I nominate you to work on perhaps adding some information on the "other side" of the Bixby case, e.g. Donald Sullivan's argument that the Bixbys perhaps never pulled the trigger on Wilson or Ouzts! Also, I don't believe the Bixbys are in jail in Abbeville County any more; they were moved to either Anderson County or Lexington County, I believe. Also, their trial probably won't take place anywhere near Abbeville, due to the inability to seat an impartial jury. BobbyLee 08:03, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
BobbyLee, thank you for clarifying some things here. I am glad that you have agreed that the section in question was POV. I also appreciate your offer to re-write that section. I have now created my User page and you are welcome to comment on my talk page. I also thank you for pointing out some facts (which the news media had not reported, at least not that I saw) pertaining to the "questioned" right of way. I can understand the outrage of families and friends of the police officers. Like I said in my first comment, these people might indeed deserve the death penatly, but in my opinion that section greatly distracts from the overall Abbeville article. Perhaps you should start a completely separate article on this incident? That actually would be a good idea, I believe. Now continuing on... What would you term "revolutionary citizen", and what has that got to do with the "Abbeville Horror?" Are you referring to the League of the South presence there, with their Southern Patriot Shop in downtown? If you would like to mention that in the article, that is fine for it may deserve mention, but please do it in a NPOV way. Since you have referenced the SPLC, I can guess what your point of view is on this subject. It is well known statewide that the League of the South and the SPLC are not on good terms. We would be treading on dangerous ground to bring this into the Abbeville article. Now, as far as the Square, Secession Hill and the Burt-Stark Mansion, I have been to all three many times and have many photos to share. I contributed the current photo of Secession Hill on the main Article for Abbeville. However, I do not live there, so I am sure I can not get all the information that you could find. I would love to have more about all three within this article. I look forward to a cordial relationship with you as we work on this article together. Carolinian 03:17, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
- I like the idea of perhaps splitting off the Abbeville Horror bit to its own page, a la Waco siege and Ruby Ridge, which are two similar events to which the events in Abbeville are compared. What do you think? Also, with regard to "revolutionary citizen" - I guess my definition would be basically "someone desiring to revolt against the (local, state, federal) government, and willing to use deadly force in achieving this end. I would define an "extremist" citizen as any citizen that is, well, "extreme" in their beliefs, i.e. completely intolerant of and unwilling to accommodate other beliefs/ideals, and willing to use deadly force/suffer pain/die for what they hold to be true and just, whether or not such truth or justice exists. With regard to the Abbeville incident, I believe that the Bixbys certainly wished to revolt against the State government of South Carolina (and from their actions in New Hampshire, it appears that they were working on a revolt up there, as well) - in particular SC's right to eminent domain (though, it wasn't really eminent domain at all, as SC owned the land in question). Moreover, from their letters and phone calls proclaiming "Live Free or Die" and "Death is not the worst of evils", it is apparent that the Bixbys were willing to kill/be killed to preserve their "right" to the strip of land (from Steven Bixby's first remarks in court in 2003, he repeatedly maintains that "if [I] can't be any freer than this in my own country, I'd rather die," or something similar). The Bixbys were certainly "extreme" in posting threatening "No trespassing" signs and making threats on the lives of law enforcement agents and citizens of Abbeville, even as the standoff progressed. Such behavior is a definite sign of extremism in one's beliefs. Hence I have no trouble describing the Bixbys as "extremists". Whether or not their extremism is justified is up to individuals, I suppose.
- I don't really side one way or another as far as League of the South vs. SPLC - in fact, the only reason for bringing the SPLC Web site up is that it chronicled some of the earlier trouble the Bixbys had been in up in New Hampshire, and shed some light on the sequence of events in Abbeville on December 8, 2003. Many of the local newspaper and TV station Web sites have deleted the actual stories from that day, so piecing together details is difficult. In general, I was not thinking about the League of the South in writing about "revolutionaries" or "extremists", rather I had in mind the people like the Bixbys who profess themselves to be "sovereign citizens," refusing to accept the laws or government of some jurisdiction. I understand that both sides (League of the South and the SPLC) have agendas to push, and Heaven knows, I don't want to be involved in that debate! BTW, I should be in Abbeville some time this weekend; maybe I'll try to grab some pictures - how about one of the bullet-riddled Bixby house off 72? BobbyLee 02:13, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
I think an article about the incendent would be a very good idea. If you could provide pictures of the house for that article, it would make it even better. Could you also take some good pictures of the town square? The pictures I took last time I was there did not turn out very well. Carolinian 01:13, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
- OK, so I'm getting ready to work on this new article - before I get started, I'm wondering if we should stick to "the Abbeville Horror" as the title, as that is the title that the SPLC bestowed upon the incident. Perhaps we should call it "the Abbeville Siege" or "Abbeville Standoff" or something else, so as not to tie in with the SPLC site? BobbyLee 09:54, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
What do the majority of people from that area refer to it as? If it's widely known as "Abbeville Horror" I suppose we should use that. Carolinian 02:07, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Abbeville District, South Carolina?
I'm assuming that this location is part of the current Abbeville, but can anyone verify that? Badbilltucker 13:30, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
- It seems to me that Abbeville herself (I found out last week that there is actually a town ordinance from 100 years ago that provides for Abbeville to be referred to as a "she" in State legal documents!) was part of the much larger Abbeville district of South Carolina, which at one time included all of Abbeville County as well as parts of Anderson, Laurens, and Greenwood Counties. I think that the Abbeville District was pared down to make the present-day Abbeville County, as well as parts of these other counties, sometime in the early 19th century. This idea of "District" also appears in the "Old 96 District" which was centered around the town of Ninety Six, as well as the "Greenville District", "Spartanburg District", etc. etc. These district names became county names, which might explain why SC has so many unimaginative county names (county names just taken from the names of their seats, e.g. Abbeville County, Greenville County, Barnwell County, etc.) Old SC maps, anyone? BobbyLee 22:42, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
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