The Secession Vote 1860-61

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Map Code: Ax00787

The seven most southerly US states had declared secession by the end of January, 1861; they would be joined by their immediate neighbours to the north, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas, in the wake of the first hostilities at Fort Sumter. Within each state, support for secession was often as geographically polarized as the preceding national elections had been. Broadly, mountain country, unsuitable for plantation farming, tended to be pro-Union. Some counties went as far as to ‘secede’ from their state’s secession: the ‘State of Scott’ in Tennessee, and the ‘Free State of Jones’ in Mississippi, were examples. The border states were genuinely divided. West Virginia separated from Virginia on the issue, Maryland and Kentucky attempted neutrality, but were promptly occupied, respectively, by Union and Confederate forces. Missouri was slave-holding, like the other border states, and ended up having separate governments supporting opposing sides throughout the war.

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