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[347] more formal ratification, at which the Governor1 and Legislature were invited to attend. Then and there, the Ordinance, having been duly engrossed, was read by the President, then signed by all the delegates in alphabetical order, and thereupon displayed by the President to the enthusiastic crowd, with a declaration that “the State of South Carolina is now and henceforth a free and independent commonwealth.” And then, with wild, prolonged, exulting huzzas, the assemblage dispersed; and the Charleston papers began to print thenceforth their daily quantum of intelligence from the non-seceding States as “Foreign news.”

Georgia, as was arranged and expected, was the first State to follow South Carolina in her fatal plunge. Her new Legislature, moved by an impassioned Message from her Governor, Joseph E. Brown, passed2 a bill appropriating $1,000,000 to arm and equip the State; and, on the 18th, a bill calling a Convention of delegates, to be chosen in the several counties on the 2d of January ensuing, and to meet one week thereafter. The Convention bill passed by a unanimous vote; the Convention thus chosen and convened finally passed3 an Ordinance of Secession: Yeas 208; Nays 89. The names of A. H. Stephens and Herschel V. Johnson, late Douglas leaders in the South, were recorded among the Nays.4

Alabama was held back by a scruple on the part of her Governor, Andrew B. Moore, who declined to act decisively until the Presidential Electors in the several States had met, and a majority cast their votes for Lincoln. He issued his call on the 6th, and the election of delegates was held on the 24th of December. The Secessionists claimed a popular majority of 50,000 in the votes of the several counties; but when the Convention5 passed an Ordinance of Secession,6 by a vote of 61 to 39, it was claimed that the minority, being mainly from the Northern counties, where the free population is proportionally far more numerous than among the great plantations of the South, represented more freemen than did the majority.

Florida, through her Legislature, voted7 to call a Convention. That Convention met at Tallahassee,8 and passed9 an Ordinance of Secession: Yeas 62; Nays 7. Several delegates elected expressly as Unionists voted for Secession.

Mississippi assembled her Legislature, on the call of Gov. John J. Pettus, at Jackson; and a Convention was thereby called to meet at the same place, January 7th; and a Secession

1 Francis W. Pickens, newly chosen by the Legislature; an original Nullifier and life-long Disunionist, “born insensible to fear.” He was in Congress (House) from 1835 to 1843; sent as Minister to Russia by Buchanan in 1858.

2 November 13, 1860.

3 January 18, 1861.

4 “A sad thing to observe is, that those who are determined on immediate secession have not the coolness, the capacity, or the nerve, to propose something after that. We must secede, it is said; but, what then we are to do, nobody knows, or, at least, nobody says. This is extremely foolish, and more wicked than foolish. All sorts of business are going to wreck and ruin, because of the uncertainty of the future. No statesmanship has ever been exhibited yet, so far as we know, by those who will dissolve the Union. South Carolina considers it her policy to create a collision with the Federal authorities for the purpose of arousing the South from her slumber. Never was there a greater mistake.” --Augusta (Ga.) Chronicls and Sentinel, January 1, 1861.

5 Assembled at Montgomery, January 7th.

6 January 11, 1861.

7 December 1, 1860.

8 January 3, 1861.

9 January 10th.

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