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hargrett library :: digital collections :: american civil war :: ordinance of secession of the state of georgia

Ordinance of Secession of the State of Georgia

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The election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States in 1860 sparked the secessionist movement in the South. South Carolina led the way by voting unanimously on December 20, 1860 to withdraw from the Union. Alabama, Mississippi and Florida soon followed. Governor Joseph Brown of Georgia called for a special election to be held on January 2, 1861 to choose delegates to a state convention to decide if the state should secede. The secessionist forces, led by Gov. Brown, the Howell brothers, T. R.R. Cobb and Robert Toombs, won the election by a vote of 50,243 to 37,123 and controlled the majority of the 301 delegates that met in Milledgeville on January 16, 1861. Alexander Stephens, the United States Senator from Georgia, led the opposition.

On January 18, 1861 a resolution was introduced that called for secession from the United States, and that a committee be created to draft the formal announcement. The resolution, and the call for the formation of the committee, passed by a vote of 166 to 130. On January 19, 1861, the formal Ordinance of Secession passed by a vote of 208 to 89, and Georgia dissolved its ties with the Union.

The copy of the Georgia Ordinance of Secession held by the Hargrett Library is printed on satin. The image presented here is a highly compressed JPEG version.

 


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