Tennessee Secedes from Empire
relations between the State of Tennessee and the United States of America.
First. We, the people of the State of Tennessee, waiving any expression of
opinion as to the abstract doctrine of secession, but asserting the right, as a
free and independent people, to alter, reform, or abolish our form of
government in such manner as we think proper, do ordain and declare that all
the laws and ordinances by which the State of Tennessee became a member
of the Federal Union of the United States of America are hereby abrogated
and annulled, and that all the rights, functions, and powers which by any of
said laws and ordinances were conveyed to the Government of the United
States, and to absolve ourselves from all the obligations, restraints, and duties
incurred thereto; and do hereby henceforth become a free, sovereign, and
independent State.
Second. We furthermore declare and ordain that article 10, sections 1 and 2,
of the constitution of the State of Tennessee, which requires members of the
General Assembly and all officers, civil and military, to take an oath to support
the Constitution of the United States be, and the same are hereby, abrogated
and annulled, and all parts of the constitution of the State of Tennessee
making citizenship of the United States a qualification for office and
recognizing the Constitution of the United States as the supreme law of this
State are in like manner abrogated and annulled.
Third. We furthermore ordain and declare that all rights acquired and vested
under the Constitution of the United States, or under any act of Congress
passed in pursuance thereof, or under any laws of this State, and not
incompatible with this ordinance, shall remain in force and have the same
effect as if this ordinance had not been passed.
Source: Official Records, Ser. IV, vol. 1, p. 290.
[Sent to referendum May 6, 1861 by the legislature, and approved by the
voters by a vote of 104,471 to 47,183 on June 8, 1861.]