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In Their Own Words

November 13, 1860

Toombs Called for Secession

Georgia’s most outspoken advocate of secession was probably U.S. Senator Robert Toombs. Speaking in Milledgeville following Lincoln’s election as president, Toombs stated:

“The door of conciliation and compromise is finally closed by our adversaries, and it remains only to us to meet the conflict with the dignity and firmness of men worthy of freedom. We need no declaration of Independence. Above eight-four years ago, our fathers won that by the sword from Great Britain … .

“The basis - the corner stone of this Government was the perfect equality of the free, sovereign and independent States which made it… .

“Withdraw yourselves from such a confederacy; it is your right to do so; your duty to do so. I know not why the abolitionists should object to it, unless that want to Torture you and plunder you. If they resist this great sovereign right, make another war of independence, for that then will be the question; fight its battles over again; reconquer liberty and independence … .”

Source: Spencer B. King, Jr., Georgia Voices: A Documentary History to 1872 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1966, reprinted 1974), p. 272.