Wednesday, January 26, 2011

January 26, 1861 - Louisiana Secedes

Old Capitol in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
January 26, 1861

Celebrations erupted in Baton Rouge 150 years ago today when the State of Louisiana seceded from the Union. In declaring its independence from the Union, Louisiana became the sixth Southern state to do so, joining South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama and Georgia in becoming an independent republic.

The following account of the key day of the state's secession convention was written by a correspondent of the Richmond Daily Appeal:
Baton Rouge, Jan. 26.

--The vote on submitting the ordinance to the people was taken this morning — ayes 45, nays 84.
John Perkins addressed the Convention on the passage of the Secession Ordinance.

The debate closed, and a vote was ordered.

The galleries and lobbies were intensely crowded, and a deathlike silence prevailed.--On the call of the roll many members were in tears.

The Clerk announced the vote — ayes 113, nays 17--and the President declared Louisiana a free and sovereign republic.

Capt. Allen then entered the Convention with a Pelican flag, accompanied by Governor Moore and staff, and put the flag in the hands of the President, amid tremendous excitement.

A solemn prayer was then offered, and a hundred guns were fired.

The Convention adjourned to meet in New Orleans on the 29th inst.

Before the Convention adjourned the resolution accompanying the ordinance, declaring the right of free navigation of the Mississippi river and tributaries to all friendly States, and the right of egress and ingress to boats of the Mississippi by all friendly States and Powers, passed unanimously.

A gold pen was given each member with which to sign the Ordinance of Secession. 

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