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"To Preserve African Slavery": The Secession Commissioners to Texas, 1861

"To Preserve African Slavery": The Secession Commissioners to Texas, 1861 2009 Article 355 “To Preser ve African Slaver y”: The Secession Commissioners to Texas, 1861 By Matthew K. Hamilton* uring the secession crisis in late 1860 and early 1861, five states of the lower South appointed commissioners to travel to the Dother slave states with the purpose of swaying their fellow South- erners to leave the Union and form a Southern Confederacy. Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, and Louisiana appointed a total of fifty-five commissioners who journeyed to the farthest reaches of the South between December 1860 and April 1861. However, they were not, for the most part, the famous names of the 1860–61 secessionist move- ment. Indeed, outside of their home states they were rather obscure fig- ures. Most of the commissioners were lawyers, judges, doctors, newspa- per editors, farmers, and planters. The vast majority of them had modest reputations as politicians, and most were recognized for possessing above average oratorical skills. These attributes qualified them for their role as secession commissioners. Once the commissioners arrived in the states they were assigned to visit, most addressed the state legislatures or conventions that would vote on secession. They delivered speeches to large crowds whenever possible and wrote letters to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southwestern Historical Quarterly Southwest Center (Univ of Arizona)

"To Preserve African Slavery": The Secession Commissioners to Texas, 1861

Southwestern Historical Quarterly , Volume 114 (4) – May 14, 2011

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Publisher
Southwest Center (Univ of Arizona)
Copyright
Copyright © The Texas State Historical Association.
ISSN
0038-478x
eISSN
1558-9560

Abstract

2009 Article 355 “To Preser ve African Slaver y”: The Secession Commissioners to Texas, 1861 By Matthew K. Hamilton* uring the secession crisis in late 1860 and early 1861, five states of the lower South appointed commissioners to travel to the Dother slave states with the purpose of swaying their fellow South- erners to leave the Union and form a Southern Confederacy. Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, and Louisiana appointed a total of fifty-five commissioners who journeyed to the farthest reaches of the South between December 1860 and April 1861. However, they were not, for the most part, the famous names of the 1860–61 secessionist move- ment. Indeed, outside of their home states they were rather obscure fig- ures. Most of the commissioners were lawyers, judges, doctors, newspa- per editors, farmers, and planters. The vast majority of them had modest reputations as politicians, and most were recognized for possessing above average oratorical skills. These attributes qualified them for their role as secession commissioners. Once the commissioners arrived in the states they were assigned to visit, most addressed the state legislatures or conventions that would vote on secession. They delivered speeches to large crowds whenever possible and wrote letters to

Journal

Southwestern Historical QuarterlySouthwest Center (Univ of Arizona)

Published: May 14, 2011

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