Lead:  On April 12, 1861 Edmund Ruffin leaned forward and fired the cannon. It was aimed at Fort Sumter far out in the harbor channel in Charleston, South Carolina. It was the first shot of the Civil War. For Ruffin, it was a long time coming.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Edmund Ruffin inherited a plantation in Tidewater, Virginia. He was a diligent and efficient planter and was among the first to apply the principles of scientific farming to his acreage. Using fertilizers, rotation of crops, and periodically idling his fields, he became a rich and prosperous planter with numerous slaves and multiple plantations. As a lecturer and writer advocating scientific agriculture, his reputation spread all over the South. During one of his trips he became friends with Governor James Hammond of South Carolina one of the earliest southern leaders to think the unthinkable, he advocated secession. Ruffin was soon converted to the cause of Southern Independence.

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