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Georgia General Assembly Act of Feb. 8, 1850

Act of the Georgia General Assembly

February 8, 1850


An Act to authorize and require the Governor of the State of Georgia to call a Convention of the people of this State, and to appropriate money for the same.

Whereas the non-slaveholding States have for a series of years perseveringly interfered most wrongfully with institution of slavery at the South, by such aggressive measures of intolerance as to render it no longer a question of doubt that the Federal Legislature will soon adopt such restrictive measures against the institution of slavery as to trammel, fetter, and confine it within a certain geographical limits never contemplated by the original parties to the constitutional compact: and whereas Georgia, in her sovereign capacity as a State, has delegated no other power to the Federal Government than those found in the Constitution of the United States, and believing that her best interests, and her honor as a sovereign and independent government, require that she should meet all encroachments in a calm and manly spirit of resistance:

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Georgia, in General Assembly met, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That should the Congress of the United States pass any law prohibiting slavery or involuntary servitude in any territory of the United States, or any law abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia, or any law prohibiting the slave trade between the States where slavery may exist, or admit into the United States as a State of this Confederacy the sparsely peopled Territory of California or New Mexico, or should the Government of this State receive at any time satisfactory evidence that any slave or slaves having escaped from this State to a non-slaveholding States, and that such slave or slaves is or are refused to be given up to the proper owner, by the authorities of the State in which such fugitive or fugitives may be found, then or in either of the foregoing events, it shall be and it is hereby made the duty of the Governor of this state, within sixty days thereafter, to issue his proclamation, ordering an election to be held in each and every county to a Convention of the people of this State, to convene at the Seat of Government within twenty days after said election.

Section 2. And be it further enacted, That the counties now entitled to two representatives in the House of Representatives of the General Assembly of this State, shall each be entitled and shall elect four delegates to said Convention, and the counties which are entitled to one representative shall elect two delegates to said Conventions.

Section 3. And be it further enacted, that said election for delegates shall be conducted and held in the same manner as elections for members of the Legislature are now held in this State, and that all returns of elections shall be forwarded to the Governor of this State, who shall upon application furnish each delegate elected with a certificate of election.

Section 4. And be it further enacted, That the sum of thirty thousand dollars be and the same is hereby appropriated out of any money in the Treasury, for the purpose of defraying the expenses of said Convention, and that the members of said Convention shall by vote regulate their per diem pay and mileage.

Section 5. And be it further enacted, That said Convention shall elect all officers necessary to their organization.

Approved , February 8, 1850.

Ga. Laws 1849-50, pp. 122-123.