BITTER SECESSION: 1860 and 1861: THE ARMAGEDDON RESULTING FROM THE DECISIONS BY THE SOUTH’S PRIVILEGED LEADERS IN EXECUTIVE OFFICES, LEGISLATURES AND THE SECESSION CONVENTIONS IN THE SEVERAL STATES SOUTH OF THE MASON – DIXON LINE
Researched by: oldnorthstateskeptic
Posted: 23 February 2011
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South of the Mason-Dixon line, the secessionist plotting by slaveholding leaders in the several states was evident in the 1840s, grew in power through the 1850s and reached completion in the decisions made by Southern legislatures and the specifically called separatist conventions of 1860 and 1861. For secessionist it was especially important that the secessionist conventions possess absolute, unaccountable authority to act. They were designed to avoid accountabilty to the state legislatures or the legal voters of the states. Of course, if a secessionist convention decided to submit it to the voters, as did Virginia and Tennessee, it happened at their discretion. Thus, the following states utilized specially called conventions mandated by their legislatures to withdraw from the United States of America.
SECESSIONIST CONVENTIONS AND VOTES
South Carolina- Secession unanimous – 20 December 1860.
Mississippi – Secession by a vote of 84 Yes and 15 No – 9 January 1861.
Florida – Secession by a vote of 62 Yes and 7 No – 10 January 1861
Alabama – Secession by a vote of 61 Yes and 39 No – 11 January 1861
Georgia – Secession by a vote of 208 Yes and 89 No – 19 January 1861
Louisiana – Secession by a vote of 113 Yes and 17 No – 26 January 1861
Texas – Secession by a vote of 166 Yes and 7 No – 1 February 1861
Virginia – Secession by a vote of 88 Yes and 55 N0 in their convention – 17 April 1861; also, submitted the issue to the people of the state resulting in a vote of 128,884 voted Yes and 32,134 voted No.
Arkansas – Secession by a vote of 60 Yes and 1 No – 6 May 1861
North Carolina – Secession unanimous – 20 -21 May 1861; also voted not to submit joining the Confederacy to the legal voters of the state.
Tennessee – Secession unanimous at the Convention – 8 July 1861; also, submitted the issue to the people of the state resulting in a vote of 104,619 voted Yes and 47,239 voted No; further sections of the eastern Tennessee mountains refused to withdraw from the Union, requiring a Confederate military force to maintain a presence in those areas.
The secession decisions in Virginia and Tennessee possess the added power of legitimacy that flows from the expression of the public’s will by the legal voters of each state. In the absence of a vote on secession and joining the Confederacy the county delegates at the Secession Conventions assumed full responsibility North Carolina’s secession, joining the Confederate States of America and massive dying that resulted from their decisions.
SOURCE: Joseph Pulitzer, editor, THE WORLD: 1908 ALMANAC AND ENCYCLOPEDIA [New York: The Press Publishing Company, 1908]: 337.
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