Lincoln’s Election, Southern Secession: 1860 to April 1861


Did any states choose not to secede?

Virginia and Arkansas both held state conventions, but the delegates chose to back away from the dread possibility of secession. The trend continued to accelerate, however, with Alabama, Georgia, and Texas voting to secede. One of the few places that showed any resistance was Texas, where the venerable Sam Houston (1793–1863) the hero of the Texas Revolution of 1836—prophesied to his countrymen about the dangers of civil war.

His fellow Texans prided themselves on a military spirit and willingness to sacrifice, Houston said, but they did not realize the enormous willpower of the men of the North and the West. These men—from the states ranging from Maine to Minnesota—were slow to anger and action, but when they launched upon a cause, they seldom turned away from it. Houston’s warning was not heeded, and the special state convention in Texas voted to secede. At least the convention agreed to put the matter to the voters.


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