Ordinance of Secession

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Ordinance of Secession
Ordinance of Secession Milledgeville, Georgia 1861.png
Facsimile of the 1861 Ordinance of Secession signed by 293 delegates to the Georgia Secession Convention at the statehouse in Milledgeville, Georgia January 21, 1861
Created c. January 20, 1861
Ratified Ratified January 19, 1861
vote was 208 yeas 89 nays
Signed January 21, 1861
by 293 delegates
Enacted January 22, 1861
Location Engrossed copy: University of Georgia Libraries, Hargrett Library
Author(s) George W. Crawford et al.
Engrosser: H. J. G. Williams
Signatories 293 delegates to The Georgia Secession Convention of 1861
Purpose To announce Georgia's formal intent to secede from the Union.

The Ordinance of Secession is the general name given to documents drafted and ratified in 1860 and 1861 by each of the thirteen southern states and the Territory of Arizona formally seceding from the United States of America. Each state and the Territory ratified its own ordinance of secession, typically by means of a special convention delegation or by a general referendum. The seceded states formed the Confederate States of America which also claimed the Territory of Arizona, roughly the southern halves of modern Arizona and New Mexico.

During the Civil War, the states of Missouri and Kentucky had competing confederate and unionist governments claiming authority over their states. Missouri's ordinance was approved by a legislative session called by Claiborne Fox Jackson, the pro-confederate governor (see Missouri secession). Kentucky's was approved by a convention of 200 people representing 65 counties of the state, but without support from the unionist state government. The Confederacy officially ceded both of these states in 1862, though they were contested throughout the war.

Virginia's ordinance was approved by a referendum but rejected by 26 counties in the north and west of the state[1] (see Wheeling Convention), leading to the creation of West Virginia.

Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas also issued separate declarations of causes, in which they explained their reasons for secession.

State Passed Referendum Vote
South Carolina December 20, 1860[2]
Mississippi January 9, 1861[3]
Florida January 10, 1861[4]
Alabama January 11, 1861[5]
Georgia January 19, 1861[6]
Louisiana January 26, 1861[7]
Texas February 1, 1861[8] February 23 46,153–14,747
Territory of Arizona March 16, 1861
Virginia April 17, 1861[9] May 23 132,201–37,451
Arkansas May 6, 1861[10]
Tennessee May 6, 1861[11] June 8 104,471–47,183
North Carolina May 20, 1861[12]
Missouri October 31, 1861[13]
Kentucky November 20, 1861[14]

See also


  1. ^ Curry, Richard O. (1964). A House Divided, Statehood Politics & the Copperhead Movement in West Virginia. University of Pittsburgh. p. PA49. 
  2. ^ ""An Ordinance to dissolve the Union between the State of South Carolina and other states," or the South Carolina Ordinance of Secession, South Carolina, 1860". TeachingUSHistory.org. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Mississippi". 1starnet.com. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Florida". 1starnet.com. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Alabama". 1starnet.com. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Georgia". 1starnet.com. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Louisiana". 1starnet.com. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Texas". 1starnet.com. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Virginia". 1starnet.com. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Arkansas". 1starnet.com. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Tennessee". 1starnet.com. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  12. ^ "North Carolina". 1starnet.com. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Missouri". 1starnet.com. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Kentucky". 1starnet.com. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 

External links

  • Texts of the Ordinances
  • Texts of declarations of causes
  • South Carolina's Ordinance of Secession Text and original document from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
  • Virginia's Ordinance of Secession (enrolled bill) Text and original document from the Library of Virginia.
  • Virginia's Ordinance of Secession (signed copies) Text and original documents from the Library of Virginia and National Archives.
  • Texas Declaration of Causes, Feb. 2, 1861 Text of Declaration of Causes from Texas archives.
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