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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

December 19, 1860

Georgia General Assembly Passed Resolution Listing Southern Grievances

The Georgia General Assembly passed a Resolution listing the grievances the South had against the North (particularly the abolitionists), and calling for action in resisting the new administration. It also mentioned the secession convention and called for a Confederacy of any Southern states deciding to leave the Union, with a Constitution based on the U.S. Constitution. Excerpts follow:

1860 Session of the Georgia General Assembly Resolution 14 Adopted Dec. 19, 1860 WHEREAS, A large portion of the people of the non-slaveholding States, have for many years past, shown in many ways, a fanatical spirit bitterly hostile to the Southern States, and have, through the instrumentality of incendiary publications, the pulpit, and the newspaper press, finally organized a political party for the avowed purpose of destroying the institution of slavery, and consequently spreading ruin and desolation among the people in every portion of the country where it exists, And, Whereas, This spirit of fanaticism has allied itself with a design, long entertained by leading politicians of the North, to wield the taxing power of the Government for the purpose of protecting and fostering the interests of that section of the Union, and also to appropriate the common Territories of the United States to the exclusive use of Northern emigration, for the purpose of extending, consolidating, and rendering that power irreversible. And, Whereas, These designs and movements have attained such ascendency [sic], as to combine a large majority of the Northern people in this sectional party, which has elected to the Presidency and Vice-Presidency of the United States, candidates who are pledge in the most solemn form, and by the plainest, repeated declarations, to wield all the influence and power of the Federal Government to accomplish the objects and purposes of the party by which they have been elected. And, Whereas, Many of the slaveholding States are about to assemble in Conventions for the purpose of adopting measures for the protection of their rights and the security of their institutions. And, Whereas, The State of Mississippi has, in a noble spirit of fraternity, sent a Commissioner to communicate to this General Assembly her desire in this emergency in our federal relations. Therefore be it Resolved, 1st. That the General Assembly of Georgia has listened with sentiments of profound sympathy and respect to the message of Mississippi, on the subject of the present threatening relations of the Northern and Southern sections of the United States, communicated by her distinguished commissioner, the Hon. William L. Harris. Resolved 2d. That, believing as we do that the present crisis in our national affairs demands resistance, this General Assembly, at its present session, has with great unanimity passed an Act providing for the call of a convention of the people of Georgia, to assemble on the 16th day of January, 1861, for the purpose of determining on the mode, measure and time of that resistance. Resolved 3d. That we cordially respond to the patriotic hopes of Mississippi, so earnestly expressed by her Legislature, and so ably communicated by her commissioner; and we do hereby give to our sister State the confident assurance that, in our judgment, Georgia will promptly co-operate with her in the adoption of efficient measures for the common defense, safety and honor of the South. Resolved 4th. That, should any or all of the Southern States determine in the present emergency to withdraw from the Union and resume their sovereignty, it is the sense of this General Assembly that such seceding States should form a confederacy under a republican form of government; and to that end they should adopt the Constitution of the United States, so altered and amended as to suit the new state of affairs. Resolved 5th. That we do hereby express our cordial appreciation of the dignified and gentlemanly bearing of the Hon. William L. Harris towards this General Assembly, as well as the satisfactory manner in which he has discharged the responsible duties of his high commission. Resolved 6th. That his Excellency the Governor be, and he is, hereby requested to cause all the proceedings in the reception of the Commissioner from the State of Mississippi to be enrolled on parchment, signed by the officers of both Houses of the General Assembly, and by the Governor, with the seal of State attached thereto; and that the same be presented by him to the Hon. William L. Harris, as the response of Georgia to the friendly greeting of Mississippi. Committee on the part of the Senate, T. Butler King, Hines Holt, Hugh M. Moore, L.H. Briscoe, A.R. Lawton, Dan’l S. Printup. Committee on the part of the House of Representatives, Julian Hartridge, Geo. N. Lester, Clifford Anderson, M.w. Lewis, Isham S. Fannin, Geo. T. Barnes, John L. Harris. Assented to December 19th, 1860.