Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify
the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal
the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its
connection with the government of which we so long formed a part,
it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which
have induced our course.
position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery
- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies
the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important
portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar
to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious
law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the
tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world,
and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.
That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the
point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us
but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution
of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out
we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference
to a few facts will sufficiently prove.
hostility to this institution commenced before the adoption of
the Constitution, and was manifested in the well-known Ordinance
of 1787, in regard to the Northwestern Territory.
feeling increased, until, in 1819-20, it deprived the South of
more than half the vast territory acquired from France.
same hostility dismembered Texas and seized upon all the territory
acquired from Mexico.
has grown until it denies the right of property in slaves, and
refuses protection to that right on the high seas, in the Territories,
and wherever the government of the United States had jurisdiction.
refuses the admission of new slave States into the Union, and
seeks to extinguish it by confining it within its present limits,
denying the power of expansion.
tramples the original equality of the South under foot.
has nullified the Fugitive Slave Law in almost every free State
in the Union, and has utterly broken the compact which our fathers
pledged their faith to maintain.
advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes
insurrection and incendiarism in our midst.
has enlisted its press, its pulpit and its schools against us,
until the whole popular mind of the North is excited and inflamed
has made combinations and formed associations to carry out its
schemes of emancipation in the States and wherever else slavery
seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his
present condition without providing a better.
has invaded a State, and invested with the honors of martyrdom
the wretch whose purpose was to apply flames to our dwellings,
and the weapons of destruction to our lives.
has given indubitable evidence of its design to ruin our agriculture,
to prostrate our industrial pursuits and to destroy our social
has recently obtained control of the Government, by the prosecution
of its unhallowed schemes, and destroyed the last expectation
of living together in friendship and brotherhood.
subjugation awaits us in the Union, if we should consent longer
to remain in it. It is not a matter of choice, but of necessity.
We must either submit to degradation, and to the loss of property
worth four billions of money, or we must secede from the Union
framed by our fathers, to secure this as well as every other species
of property. For far less cause than this, our fathers separated
from the Crown of England.
decision is made. We follow in their footsteps. We embrace the
alternative of separation; and for the reasons here stated, we
resolve to maintain our rights with the full consciousness of
the justice of our course and the undoubting belief of our ability
to maintain it.
of the State Convention and Ordinances and Resolutions
Adopted in January 1861 with an Appendix Published by order
of the Convention.
Mississippi: E. Barksdale State Printer, 1861, pp. 86-88.