Following Abraham Lincoln’s election to the Presidency in 1860, Florida Governor Madison Starke Perry issued a proclamation calling for a convention to determine whether Florida would withdraw from the United States. Elected delegates convened in Tallahassee on January 3, 1861, and ultimately passed this Ordinance of Secession on January 10th, declaring Florida to be “a sovereign and independent nation.” The convention then voted on April 13, 1861 for Florida to become part of the Confederate States of America.
We, the People of the State of Florida, in Convention assembled, do solemnly ordain, publish and declare, that the State of Florida hereby withdraws herself from the Confederacy of States existing under the name of the United States of America, and from the existing government of said States; and that all political connection between her and the government of said States ought to be and the same is hereby totally annulled and said Union of States dissolved, and the State of Florida is hereby declared a sovereign and independent Nation; and that all ordinances heretofore adopted, in so far as they create or recognize said Union, are rescinded, and all laws or parts of laws in force in this State, in so far as they recognize or assent to said Union, be and they are hereby repealed.
Done in open Convention, January 10, 1861.
Beginning with the first column, the names and corresponding county or senatorial district of each signer are as follows: A. W. Nicholson (Escambia), S. H. Wright (Escambia), R. D. Jordan (Holmes), Adam McNealy (Jackson), Thomas Y. Henry (Gadsden), E. C. Love (Gadsden), A. J. Lea (Madison), W. H. Sever (Taylor), E. P. Barronton (Lafayette), Joseph Finegan (Nassau), James G. Cooper (Nassau), James H. Chandler (Volusia), David G. Leigh (Sumter), James Gettis (20 th Senatorial District), S. S. Alderman (Jackson), Alexander L. McCaskill (Walton), William S. Harris, Secretary (Duval)*; S. J. Baker (Calhoun), S. B. Stephens (7 th Senatorial District), Freeman B. Irwin (Washington), McQueen McIntosh (5 th Senatorial District), Samuel W. Spencer (Franklin), D. D. McLean (4 th Senatorial District), Lewis A. Folsom (Hamilton), Green H. Hunter (Columbia), James A. Newman (Suwannee), Arthur J. T. Wright (Columbia), Isaac S. Coon (New River), John J. Lamb (Clay), Isaac N. Rutland (19 th Senatorial District), William Pinkney (Monroe), Winer Bethel (Monroe),Joseph A. Collier (Jackson); John C. McGehee (Madison), Jackson Morton (Santa Rosa), E. E. Simpson (Santa Rosa), Daniel Ladd (Wakulla), David Lewis (Wakulla), Thompson B. Lamar (Jefferson), J. Patton Anderson (Jefferson), Thomas M. Palmer (Jefferson), William S. Dilworth (Jefferson), J. M. Daniel (Duval), T. J. Hendricks (Clay), J. P. Sanderson (16 th Senatorial District), James B. Owens (Marion), Summerfield M. G. Gary (Marion), W. McGahagin (Marion), Asa F. Tift (Monroe)*, James L. G. Baker (Jackson); Abraham Kyrkyndale Allison (Gadsden), John Beard (Leon), James Kirksey (Leon), G. W. Parkhill (Leon), George T. Ward (Leon), W. G. M. Davis (Leon), Joseph Thomas (Hamilton), Mathew Solana (St. Johns), James O. Devall (Putnam), R. G. Mays (17 th Senatorial District), John C. Pelot (Alachua), James B. Dawkins (Alachua), William W. Woodruff (Orange), W. B. Yates (Brevard). John Morrison (Walton)
*William S. Harris may have written “of Jacksonville” after his name, not Joseph A. Collier, who was from Jackson County.
*Tift’s signature looks like “Taft” on the Ordinance, but he is listed as Asa F. Tift on the 1860 Census and in the 1863 Journal of the House of Representatives.