MISSISSIPPI RESOLUTIONS ON SECESSION
November 30, 1860
|The Mississippi legislature passed this resolution on November 30, 1860, prior to the state's actual secession. This text was taken from the book The Annals of America, Volume 9, 1858-1865, The Crisis of the Union, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. , 1976, citing the "Laws of the state of Mississippi, Passed at a Called Session of the Mississippi Legislature held in ... Jackson, November, 1860," Jackson, 1860, pp. 43-45. I am greatly indebted to my friends Kyle and Delia Siegrist, of Huntsville, AL, for helping me to recover the text of this document.|
Whereas, The Constitutional Union was formed by the several States in their separate soverign capacity for the purpose of mutual advantage and protection;
That the several States are distinct sovereignities, whose supremacy is limited so far only as the same has been delegated by voluntary compact to a Federal Government, and when it fails to accomplish the ends for which it was established, the parties to the compact have the right to resume, each State for itself, such delegated powers;
That the institution of slavery existed prior to the formation of the Federal Constitution, and is recognized by its letter, and all efforts to impair its value or lessen its duration by Congress, or any of the free States, is a violation of the compact of Union and is destructive of the ends for which it was ordained, but in defiance of the principles of the Union thus established, the people of the Northern States have assumed a revolutionary position toward the Southern States;
That they have set at defiance that provision of the Constitution which was intended to secure domestic tranquility among the States and promote their general welfare, namely: "No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom the Service or Labour may be due;"
That they have by voluntary associations, individual agencies and State legislation inteferred with slavery as it prevails in the slaveholding States;
That they have enticed our slaves from us and, by State intervention obstructed and prevented their rendition under the fugitive slave law;
That they continue their system of agitation obviously for the purpose of encouraging other slaves to escape from service, to weaken the institution in the slave-holding States by rendering the holding of such property insecure, and as a consequence its ultimate abolition certain;
That they claim the right and demand its execution by Congress to exclude slavery from the Territories, but claim the right of protection for every species of property owned by themselves;
That they declare in every manner in which public opinion is expressed their unalterable determination to exclude from admittance into the Union any new State that tolerates slavery in its Constitution, and thereby force Congress to a condemnation of that species of property;
That they thus seek by an increase of abolition States "to acquire two-thirds of both houses" for the purpose of preparing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, abolishing slavery in the States, and so continue the agitation that the proposed amendment shall be ratified by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the States;
That they have in violation of the comity of all civilized nations, and in violation of the comity established by the Constitution of the United States, insulted and outraged our citizens when traveling among them for pleasure, health, or business, by taking their servants and liberating the same, under the forms of State laws, and subjecting their owners to degrading and ignominious punishment;
That to encourage the stealing of our property they have put at defiance that provision of the Constitution which declares that fugitives from justice (escaping) into another State, on demand of the Executive authority of that state from which he fled, shall be delivered up;
That they have sought to create domestic discord in the Southern States by incendiary publications;
That they have encouraged a hostile invasion of a Southern State to excite insurrection, murder, and rapine;
That they have deprived Southern citizens of their property and continue an unfriendly agitation of their domestic institutions, claiming for themselves perfect immunity from external interference with their domestic policy;
We of the Southern States alone made an exception to that universal quiet;
That they have elected a majority of Electors for President and Vice-President on the ground that there exists an irreconcilable conflict between the two sections of the Confederacy in reference to their respective systems of labor and in pursuance of their hostility to us and our institutions, thus declaring to the civilized world that the powers of this Government are to be used for the dishonor and overthrow of the Southern Section of this great Confederacy.
Be it resolved by the Legislature of the State of Mississippi, That in the opinion of those who now constitute the said Legislature, the secession of each aggrieved State is the proper remedy for these injuries.