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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

January 18, 1861

Secession Resolution Introduced

In Georgia’s secession convention, Eugenius A. Nisbet introduced a resolution calling for Georgia to immediately secede from the Union and cooperate with other seceded states to form a Southern Confederacy. Herschel Johnson offered a substitute resolution calling on southern states to send delegates to a congress to be held Feb. 16, 1861 in Atlanta to decide on a joint course of action. According to this proposed resolution, the essential elements for Georgia remaining in the Union were:

Congress taking no action to abolish or prohibit slavery in the territories. Return of fugitive slaves, prosecution of anyone rescuing slaves, protection of slave property in the territories, admission of states as free or slave as determined by the residents of the state. No blacks being allowed to hold federal office.

Johnson’s resolution failed, while Nisbet’s was adopted. Following the vote, Nisbet was named to chair the committee to draft a secession ordinance for Georgia.

The Southern Recorder of Milledgeville wasted no time in reporting on this historic vote.

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Digital Library of Georgia
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