Florida Secedes from the Union

                                     01-10 -1861

In early January 1861, a special convention of delegates from around the
state met in Tallahassee to consider whether Florida should leave the Union.
Governor Madison Starke Perry and Governor-elect John Milton were both
strong supporters of secession. For days, the issues were debated inside and
outside the convention. In a minority opinion, former territorial governor
Richard Keith Call, acting as a private citizen, argued that secession would
bring only ruin to the state.

On January 10, 1861, the delegates voted sixty-two to seven to withdraw
Florida from the Union. The next day, in a public ceremony on the east steps
of the capitol, they signed a formal Ordinance of Secession. News of the
event generally led to local celebrations. Later, the delegates adopted a new
state constitution. Florida was the third state to leave the Union, and within a
month it joined with other southern states to form the Confederate States of

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they create or recognize said Union are rescinded; and all laws or parts of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be and they are hereby repealed.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

(Collections of the Museum of Florida History)