-- Dilemmas of Compromise --

Friday January 11, 1861

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Alabama Secedes

Although the home state of the one of the South's foremost secessionists, William Lowndes Yancey, Alabama's secession was not a foregone conclusion. Following Lincoln's election, the secessionist governor and legislature c alled for elections to a convention. Cooperationists, who opposed immediate secession, polled a substantial minority of votes. The convention assembled in Montgomery on January 7, 1861. In preliminary votes, cooperationist resolutions opposing immediate secession were narrowly voted down by a count of 53-46. However, on January 11, following news that Mississippi and Florida had seceded and that South Carolina had repelled the Star of the West in its efforts to relieve Fort Sumter, the convention adopted an ordinance of secession by a vote of 61-39. Following the vote, fifteen delegates who had initially voted against the ordinance now signed it.

Bibliography: Thomas, Confederate Nation, pp. 49-51; Potter, Impending Crisis, pp. 496-98; Barney, Secessionist Impulse, pp. 296-302.

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