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The Mississippi Secession ConventionDelegates and Deliberations in Politics and War, 1861-1865$
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Timothy B. Smith

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781628460971

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2015

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628460971.001.0001

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November–December 1860

(p.11) 1 Elections
The Mississippi Secession Convention

Timothy B. Smith

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter traces the roots of Mississippi's secession from the Union at the 1860 presidential elections, where Abraham Lincoln, an advocate of anti-slavery, won the presidency. The Mississippians, along with others living in the Southern slave states, were keen on maintaining their plantations that thrived due to slave labor. Governor John J. Pettus, who was a fire-eater (Southern politicians who supported secession into a new nation), bragged that Lincoln had received “not one electoral vote in all the fifteen slave States.” Mississippi went heavily for the Southern Democratic candidate and sitting Vice-president John C. Breckinridge. Support was also given to fellow Southerner John Bell. The turnout was high; it was a tremendously important election. But unfortunately, neither Mississippi nor any of the other Southern states could keep Lincoln from taking over the reins of the federal government.

Keywords:   secession, Mississippi, 1860 presidential elections, Abraham Lincoln, anti-slavery, plantations, slave labor, John J. Pettus, fire-eater, John C. Breckinridge

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