Chronology of the Secession Crisis

Most of the items here can be found in E.B. Long's Civil War Day by Day (Doubleday, 1971), a standard and very valuable reference work.

Copyright 1996 James F. Epperson

January 11, 1860: Alabama Democratic Party adopts the Alabama Platform.
February 27, 1860: Abraham Lincoln addresses gathering at the Cooper Union in New York City.
March 6, 1860: Lincoln gives speech in New Haven, Connecticut.
April 23, 1860: Democratic Convention opens in Charleston, SC.
May 3, 1860: Democratic Convention adjourns after Deep South delegations withdraw over the slavery plank in the platform.
May 9, 1860: Constitutional Union Party nominates John Bell of Tennessee for the Presidency.
May 18, 1860: Republican Party nominates Abraham Lincoln for the Presidency.
June 18, 1860: Democrats reconvene in Baltimore, MD.
June 22, 1860: Deep South delegates again withdraw from the Democratic Convention.
June 23, 1860: "Regular" Democrats nominate Stephen A. Douglas; the "Southern" wing of the party nominates John C. Breckinridge.
November 6, 1860: Lincoln defeats Douglas, Breckinridge, and Bell for the Presidency.
November 14, 1860: Alexander Stephens addresses the Georiga legislature on secession.
November 30, 1860: Mississippi legislature passes resolutions in favor of secession.
December 18, 1860: Crittenden Compromise introduced in Congress.
December 20, 1860: South Carolina convention passes ordinance of seccession.
December 24, 1860: Mississippi Senator Jefferson Davis introduces a "compromise" proposal which would effectively make slavery a national instituion.
December 26, 1860: Major Anderson moves Federal garrison in Charleston, SC, from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter.
January 3, 1861: Georgia seizes Fort Pulaski.
January 4, 1861: Alabama seizes U.S. arsenal at Mount Vernon.
January 5, 1861: Alabama seizes Forts Morgan and Gaines.
January 6, 1861: Florida seizes Apalachicola arsenal.
January 7, 1861: Florida seizes Fort Marion.
January 8, 1861: Floridians try to seize Fort Barrancas but are chased off.
January 9, 1861: Mississippi secedes.

Star of the West fired on in Charleston Harbor

January 10, 1861: Florida secedes.

Louisiana seizes U.S. arsenal at Baton Rouge, as well as Forts Jackson and St. Philip.

January 11, 1861: Alabama secedes.

Louisiana seizes U.S. Marine Hospital.

January 14, 1861: Louisiana seizes Fort Pike.
January 19, 1861: Georgia secedes.
January 26, 1861: Louisiana secedes.
January 28, 1861: Tennessee Resolutions in favor of Crittenden Compromise offered in Congress.
February 1, 1861: Texas secedes.
February 8, 1861: Provisional Constitution of the Confederacy adopted in Montgomery, AL.

Arkansas seizes U.S. Arsenal at Little Rock.

February 12, 1861: Arkansas seizes U.S. ordnance stores at Napoleon.
February 18, 1861: Jefferson Davis inaugurated as President of the Confederacy.
March 4, 1861: Abraham Lincoln inaugurated as 16th President of the United States.
March 21, 1861: "Cornerstone speech" delivered by Alexander Stephens.
April 12, 1861: Fort Sumter fired upon by Confederates.