Sunday, January 23, 2011

150-Years-Ago -- The Louisiana Secession Convention Begins

Richmond Daily Dispatch
January 26, 1861

Alexandre Mouton, former governor and
U.S. senator, was elected president of the
Louisiana Secession Convention.
(Library of Congress)
Louisiana State Convention,

Baton Rouge, Jan. 23.
--The LouisianaState Convention met to-day.
A flag with fifteen stars upon it floats over the Capitol.
After a fervent prayer had been offered up, the Convention organized by electing ex-Governor Mouton President by a viva voce vote of 81 to 41.
Mr. Hinge was conducted to the chair and made a speech, thanking the Convention for the honor conferred upon him, and advising the utmost calmness and firmness in all their deliberations.
Resolutions were adopted for the appointment of a Committee of Fifteen to report articles of secession of Louisiana from the Federal Union.
Several plans were here offered.
A resolution was adopted to convey the Commissioners from Alabama and South Carolina to seats on the floor.
The Chairman then named the Committee of Fifteen to report the Ordinance of Secession. --The committee will make their report tomorrow.
The Committee on Rules, &c., reported the following officers as necessary, in addition to the President: A Secretary, in an Assistant Secretary, a Doorkeeper, a Warrant, Clerk, and a suitable number of enrolling and translating clerks.
A Secretary was elected on the fourth ballot.
A committee of three was then appointed, to wait on the Commissioners from Alabama and South Carolina.
The Convention has adjourned until 10 o'clock to-morrow morning.
The State Legislature has adjourned until the 4th of February.
[second Dispatch.]
Baton Rouge,La.,Jan. 24.
--The Committee of Fifteen reported an Ordinance of Secession and a resolution regarding the navigation of the mouth of the Mississippi. Both were ordered to be printed. The committee asked for a postponement of any discussion on them until 12 o'clock to-morrow.
Several substitutes were offered for them, having in view a settlement of existing difficulties, and were ordered to be printed for to-morrow.
The Commissioners from Alabama and South Carolina were welcomed.
An invitation from the Mayor of New Orleans, for the Convention to adjourn there, was laid over.
A resolution of thanks was offered to the Governor, for his prompt seizure of the forts, which concludes "we will defend them here and elsewhere, with all the means in our power. "
Mr. Roselin asked, before the question was put, what was the authority for the acts done. The Governor was the highest conservator of the peace, and while such a disregard of law might become necessary for our rights, the speaker asked to know what was the exigency which rendered such action necessary in this case. He was not prepared to censure or thank.
A warm debate ensued; and when the Governor's annual Message was received, it was proposed to read that portion having reference to the taking of the forts.
Much debate for and against this proposition ensued, and ran with confusion, which the President was forced to rebuke.
The resolution was passed — yeas 118, nays 5.

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