The Georgia Platform of 1850

Alec Stephens (1812-1883), Congressman from Georgia, future Confederate Vice-President
Robert Toombs
Robert Toombs (1810-1885), Congressman from Georgia, future United States Senator and Confederate Secretary of State and Brigadier General
The Compromise of 1850 was not widely popular in the South, and a movement to hold a convention in Nashville of the Southern states gained momentum in anticipation of the passage of the several pieces of legislation that formed the Compromise. The first session of the convention was held June 3--11, and consisted of 176 delegates from most of the slaveholding states (except Louisiana).  In response to this, several moderate leaders in Georgia pressured Governor G.W. Towns to hold a special state convention in the fall.  The moderate faction, led by Alec Stephens, Robert Toombs, and Howell Cobb, won an overwhelming victory, and the document given here was passed by this convention on Dec. 14, 1850.  It was eventually supported by Alabama and Mississippi, and the overall effort worked to largely preclude any serious possibility of secession coming out of the second session of the Nashville Convention, held  Nov. 11--18, 1850.
Howell Cobb
Howell Cobb  (1815-1868), Speaker of the House of Representatives, future Secretary of the Treasury and Confederate Brigadier and Major General
Gov. George Washington Towns
Governor George Washington Towns (1801-1854)


Be it Resolved by the People of Georgia in Convention assembled,

1st, That we hold the American Union, secondary in importance only to the rights and principles it was designed to perpetuate. That past associations, present fruition, and future prospects, will bind us to it so long as it continues to be the safeguard of those rights and principles.

Secondly, That if the thirteen original parties to the contract, bordering the Atlantic in a narrow belt, while their separate interests were in embryo their peculiar tendencies scarcely developed, their revolutionary trials and triumphs, still green in memory, found Union impossible without Compromise, the thirty-one of this day, may well yield somewhat, in the conflict of opinion and policy, to preserve that Union which has extended the sway of republican government over a vast wilderness to another ocean, and proportionally advanced their civilization and national greatness.

Thirdly, That in this spirit, the State of Georgia has maturely considered the action of Congress embracing a series of measures for the admission of California into the Union, the organization of territorial Governments for Utah and New Mexico, the establishment of a boundary between the latter and the State of Texas, the suppression of the slave trade in the District of Columbia, and the extradition of fugitive slaves, and (connected with them) the rejection of propositions to exclude slavery from the Mexican territories and to abolish it in the District of Columbia, and whilst she does not wholly approve, will abide by it as a permanent adjustment of this sectional controversy.

Fourthly, That the State of Georgia in the judgment of this Convention, will and ought to resist even (as a last resort,) to a disruption of every tie which binds her to the Union, any action of Congress upon the subject of slavery in the District of Columbia, or in any places subject to the jurisdiction of Congress incompatible with the safety, domestic tranquility, the rights and honor of the slave-holding States, or any refusal to admit as a State any territory hereafter, applying, because of the existence of slavery therein, or any act prohibiting the introduction of slaves into the territories of New Mexico and Utah, or any act repealing or materially modifying the laws now in force for the recovery of fugitive slaves.

Fifthly, That it is the deliberate opinion of this Convention, that upon the faithful execution of the Fugitive Slave Bill by the proper authorities depends the preservation of our much loved Union.