Joint Resolutions of the General Assembly of Alabama

Feb. 24, 1860

Source: "The History and Debates of the Convention of the People of Alabama," William R. Smith (Montgomery, Ala: White, Pfister, & Co, 1861; reprint Spartanburg, SC: Reprint Company Publishers, 1975), pp. 9-10. Thanks to Justin Sanders for sending me this.

WHEREAS, anti-slavery agitation persistently continued in the non-slaveholding States of this Union, for more than a third of a century, marked at every stage of its progress by contempt for the obligations of law and the sanctity of compacts, evincing a deadly hostility to the rights and institutions of the Southern people, and a settled purpose to effect their overthrow even by subversion of the Constitution, and at the hazard of violence and bloodshed; and whereas, a sectional party calling itself Republican, committed alike by its own acts and antecedents, and the public avowals and secret machinations of its leaders to the execution of these atrocious designs, has acquired the ascendancy in nearly every Northern State, and hopes by success in the approaching Presidential election to seize the Government itself; and whereas, to permit such seizure by those whose unmistakable aim is to pervert its whole machinery to the destruction of a portion of its members would be an act of suicidal folly and madness, almost without a parallel in history; and whereas, the General Assembly of Alabama, representing a people loyally devoted to the Union of the Constitution, but scorning the Union which fanaticism would erect upon its ruins, deem it their solemn duty to provide in advance the means by which they may escape such peril and dishonor, and devise new securities for perpetuating the blessings of liberty to themselves and their posterity; therefore,

1. Be it resolved, That upon the happening of the contingency contemplated in the foregoing Preamble, namely, the election of a President advocating the principles and action of the party in the Northern States calling itself the Republican Party, it shall be the duty of the Governor, and he is hereby required, forthwith to issue his Proclamation, calling upon the qualified voters of this State to assemble on Monday not more than forty days after the date of said Proclamation, at the several places of voting in their respective counties, to elect delegates to a Convention of the State, to consider, determine and do whatever in the opinion of said Convention, the rights, interests, and honor of the State of Alabama requires to be done for their protection.

2. Be it further resolved, That said Convention shall assemble at the State Capitol on the second Monday following said election.

3. Be it further resolved, That it shall be the duty of the Governor as soon as possible to issue writs of election to the Sheriffs of the several counties, commanding them to hold an election on the said Monday so designated by the Governor, provided for in these Joint Resolutions, for the choosing of as many delegates from each county to said Convention as the several counties shall be entitled to members in the House of Representatives of the General Assembly; and said election shall be held at the usual places of voting in the respective counties, and the polls shall be opened under the rules and regulations now governing the election of members to the General Assembly of this State, and said election shall be governed in all respects by the laws then in existence, regulating the election of members of the House of Representatives of the General Assembly, and the persons elected thereat as delegates, shall be returned in like manner, and the pay, both mileage and per diem, of the delegates to said Convention, and the several officers thereof, shall be the same as that fixed by law for the members and officers of said House of Representatives.

5. Be it further resolved, That copies of the foregoing Preamble and Resolutions be forwarded by the Governor as soon as possible to our Senators and Representatives in Congress, and to each of the Governors of our sister States of the South.