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


What was the fifth state to leave the Union?

The fact that Georgia was relatively slow to secession is more important than it seems. The Peachtree State had more Unionists, especially in the northern part, than any other of the Deep Southern states. Even among its ardent partisans, there was some dissension, with some arguing for a slower process. The “immediatists” prevailed, however, and on January 19, 1861, the Georgia convention approved the following ordinance by 208 to 89.

We the people of the State of Georgia in Convention assembled do declare and ordain and it is hereby declared and ordained that the ordinance adopted by the State of Georgia in convention on the 2nd day of Jany. in the year of our Lord seventeen hundred and eighty-eight, whereby the constitution of the United States of America was assented to, ratified and adopted, and also all acts and parts of acts of the general assembly of this State, ratifying and adopting amendments to said constitution, are hereby repealed, rescinded and abrogated. We do further declare and ordain that the union now existing between the State of Georgia and other States under the name of the United States of America is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Georgia is in full possession and exercise of all those rights of sovereignty which belong and appertain to a free and independent State.


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