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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

November 07, 1860

Governor Brown Addressed General Assembly

Georgia governor Joseph Emerson Brown addressed a joint session of the Georgia General Assembly in Milledgeville (then the state capital), in which he called for a statewide convention to determine Georgia’s response to the election of Abraham Lincoln. In the lengthy, defiant speech, Brown insisted that any course of action taken could include no more compromise, and concluded with these statements:

” If the madness and folly of the people of the Northern States shall drive us of the South to a separation from them, we have within ourselves, all the elements of wealth, power, and national greatness, to an extent possessed probably by no other people on the face of the earth. With a vast and fertile territory, possessed of every natural advantage, bestowed by a kind Providence upon the most favored land, and with almost monopoly of the cotton culture of the world, if we were true to ourselves, our power would be invincible, and our prosperity unbounded. If it is ascertained that the Black Republicans have triumphed over us, I recommend the call of a Convention of the people of the State at an early day; and I will cordially unite with the General Assembly in any action, which, in their judgment, may be necessary to the protection of the rights and the preservation of the liberties of the people of Georgia, against the future aggressions of the enemy, which, when flushed with victory, will be insolent in the hour of triumph. For the purpose of putting this State in a defensive condition as fast as possible, and prepare for an emergency, which must be met sooner or later, I recommend that the sum of one million of dollars be immediately appropriated, as a military fund for the ensuing year; and that prompt provision be made for raising such portion of the money as may not be in the Treasury, as fast as the public necessities may require its expenditure. “Millions for defence, but not a cent for tribute,” should be the future motto of the Southern States. To every demand for further concessions, or compromise of our rights, we should reply, “The argument is exhausted,” and we now “stand by our arms.”