Florida in the Civil War


Ordinance of Secession, 1861

(From: Florida Convention of the People, Ordinance of Secession, 1861, Series S 972)

In the wake of Abraham Lincoln’s election to the presidency on November 6, 1860, Governor Madison Starke Perry called for Florida to prepare for secession and to join with other southern states in organizing an independent confederacy. The state legislature voted to hold a statewide election on December 22 for the selection of delegates to a convention that would meet in Tallahassee beginning on January 3, 1861, to decide whether Florida should secede. Of the 69 delegates eligible to vote on January 10, 1861 for the adoption of an ordinance of secession, 62 voted yea and seven nay.

There are 65 signatures on the Ordinance of Secession.

Ordinance of Secession, 1861


Ordinance of Secession

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Independent Nation: and that all ordinances heretofore adopted in so far as they create or recognize said Union, are rescinded: and all laws or parts of laws in force in this State, in so far as they recognize or assent to said Union be and they are hereby repealed.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 10th, A. D. 1861.

John C. McGehee President.
A.W. Nicholson S. J. Baker Jackson Morton Abraham Kyrkyndale Allison
A. J. T. Wright S. B. Stephens E. E. Simpson Danl Ladd John Beard
R. D. Jordan Freeman B. Irwin David Lewis James Kirksey
Adam McNealy McQueen McIntosh Thompson B. Lamar G. W. Parkhill
Thomas Y. Henry Saml W. Spencer J. Patton Anderson Geo. T. Ward
E. C. Love D. D. McLean Thomas M. Palmer W. G. M. Davis
A. J. Lea Lewis A. Folsom William S. Dilworth Joseph Thomas
W. H. Sever Green H. Hunter J. M. Daniel Mathew Solana
E. P. Barronton Jas. A. Newman T. J. Hendrick Jas. O. Devall
Joseph Finegan Arthur J. T. Wright J. P. Sanderson R. G. Mays
James G. Cooper Isaac S. Coon Jas. B. Owens John C. Pelot

Jas. H. Chandler John J. Lamb Summerfield M. G. Gary James B. Dawkins
David G. Leigh Isaac N. Rutland W. McGahagin William W. Woodruff
James Gettis Wm. Pinkney Asa F. Tift W. B. Yates

S. S. Alderman Winer Bethel James L. G. Baker John Morrison

Alexander L. McCaskill Joseph A. Collier of Jacksonville

Attest William S. Harris, Secretary.

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.