Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama Secede

Wednesday, January 9, 1861 to Friday, January 11, 1861

Flag of the Liberty Guards, 22nd Mississippi Confederate Infantry Regiment. Courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Following South Carolina's lead several weeks earlier, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama secede from the Union over a period of just three days from January 9-11, 1861. In "A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union," the state of Mississipi explains:

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery - the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product, which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.  

Alabama's Ordinance of Secession similarly states:

Whereas, the election of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin to the offices of president and vice-president of the United States of America, by a sectional party, avowedly hostile to the domestic institutions and to the peace and security of the people of the State of Alabama, preceded by many and dangerous infractions of the constitution of the United States by many of the States and people of the Northern section, is a political wrong of so insulting and manacing a character as to justify the people of the State of Alabama in the adoption of prompt and decided measures for their future peace and security, therefore:

Be it declared and ordained by the people of the State of Alabama, in Convention assembled, That the State of Alabama now withdraws, and is hereby withdrawn from the Union known as "the United States of America," and henceforth ceases to be one of said United States, and is, and of right ought to be a Sovereign and Independent State.

 


Open Timeline