Chapter 1:

  • The legislature of 1860
  • -- convention provided for-occupation of Fort Pulaski -- the secession convention -- seizure of the Augusta arsenal and Oglethorpe barracks.

Quickly following the day of the national election of 1860, the returns made it evident to all that Abraham Lincoln would be the next president of the United States. The Republican party, whose candidate he was, had originated in 1856 as a strictly sectional party, and among other hurtful policies had made war on the slave property of the South. Now that it had become strong enough to elect a President by the vote of Northern States alone, its success aroused the fears, as well as the indignation, of the Southern people. In many of the counties of Georgia public meetings were held and resolutions were adopted urging the legislature, about to meet, to provide for the defense of the State against the aggression to be feared from the sectional party that, after the 4th of March, 1861, would hold the reins of government.

The legislature met early in November, 1860. Influenced by apprehension of impending peril, Gov. Joseph E. Brown recommended that it should authorize commercial reprisal to meet the nullification by Northern States of the national fugitive slave law; the calling of a convention of the people, and the appropriation of $1,000,000 for defense. A convention of military companies, presided over by John W. Anderson, assembled at Milledgeville, November 10, 1860, and adopted a resolution to the effect that, ‘Georgia can no longer remain in the Union consistently with her safety and best interest.’

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