Before 20 May 1861

PRIOR TO THE 1861 NORTH CAROLINA SECESSION CONVENTION

1850 – 1860 – a minority of North Carolinians wished to secede from the United States of America and create a new government [Kemp Plummer Battle, 1916]. Battle, a 1861 NC Secessionist Convention county delegate from Wake County, classifies these people as “Original Secessionists.” People who agreed with the grievances committed by the “majority of Northern states” in their actions to eradicate slavery (as Battle says “deprive citizens of the slave-holding states of the right to carry their property into the common territory”) but who believed that a state did not have a legal right to secede from the Union plus held that war would destroy slavery and inflict mass suffering on the region were called Union men. Even these men did not believe that the Union possessed the Constitutional right to military might to bring a seceding state back into the fold. Most of them, according to Battle, supported the use of military means, as necessary, by withdrawing states to prevent the Union from bringing them back into it.

Obviously, all of these delegates vastly underestimated the willingness of The United States of America to go to war and prevent the country’s dismemberment as well as the vastly superior resources of the Union to fight an extended war over those of the Confederacy.

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