The Secession Commissioners

Brief chronology of the secession crisis.
Suggestions for further reading.
Links to Related Sites of Interest

In the immediate wake of Lincoln's election, several Southern governors appointed "commissioners" to other states with the avowed purpose of consulting with those states on the appropriate course of action. Many of these commissioners were natives of the state to which they were appointed, and many of them were allowed to speak to the state legislature or state convention.

The activities of these "secession commissioners" are detailed in a recent book by Charles Dew, titled Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War (University of Virginia Press), and an article on the same subject in North & South magazine (vol. 4, no. 4 (2001)).This section of the web site contains those speeches or letters of the commissioners that I was able to find, either in Dew's work or in the sources he cites. Series IV of the Official Records contains a lot of material on the Alabama commissioners.

The Alabama Commissioners:

Speeches to Virginia:

Other Commissioners: