Secession Convention of Florida

Last Updated 5 April 2000

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Colonel John Cooper Pelot [#58], then residing at Micanopy, Alachua County, was elected temporary chairman of the Secession Convention at Tallahassee. On 3 January 1861 he addressed the delegates. He declared that "the rapid spread of northern fanaticism ... and the election of Abraham Lincoln, a wily abolitionist ... destroys all hope for the future." His participation in the Convention has been reported in histories of Florida. A large composite photograph showing each delegate of the Convention was for years on exhibit in the Capitol Building, Tallahassee. A copy is published in the Pelot Family Genealogy.

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and Independent Nation: and that all ordinances heretofore adopted so far as they create or recognize said Union, are rescinded: and all laws or parts of laws in force in this State, in so far as they recognize or assent to said Union be and they are hereby repealed.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

The delegates were: 1. William B. Yates, Brevard County; 2. Green H. Hunter, Columbia; 3. Samuel W. Spencer, Franklin; 4. Summerfield M.G. Gary, Marion; 5. S. J. Baker, Calhoun, 5th Senate District; 6. McQueen McIntosh, Calhoun; 7. D. D. McLean, Washington, 4th District; 8. Simon Turman, Hillsborough; 9. James L. G. Baker, Jackson; 10. W. H. Sever, Taylor; 11. John J. Lamb, Marion, 13th District; 12. James Gettis, Hillsbourgh, 20th District; 13. E. C. Love, Gadsden; 14. Isaac N. Rutland, Orange; 15. William S. Dilworth, Jefferson; 16. R. G. Mays, St. Johns, 17th District; 17. C. C. Simpson, Santa Rosa; 18. Jas. A. Newman, Suwannee; 19. A. W. Nicholson, Escambia; 20. Arthur J. T. Wright, Columbia; 21. Joseph Finegan, Nassau; 22. W. W. Woodruff, Orange; 23. Abraham Kyrkyndale Allison, Gadsden; 24. David Lewis, Wakulla; 25. John Morrison, Walton; 26. Colonel John Cooper Pelot, Alachua[#58]; 27. A. J. Lea, Madison; 28. Lewis A. Folsom, Hamilton; 29. S. B. Stephens, Franklin; 30. G. W. Parkhill, Leon; 31. S. H. Wright, Escambia; 32. T. J. Hendricks, Clay; 33. Mathew Solana, St. Johns; 34. Jas H. Chandler, Volusia; 35. William Pinkney, Monroe; 36. Alexander L. McCaskill, Walton; 37. Thomas Y. Henry, Gadsden; 38. William T. Gregory, Liberty; 39. Freeman B. Irwin, Washington; 40. James Gignilliat Cooper, Nassau (His daughter, Mary Elizabeth Cooper married the son of Colonel John Cooper Pelot, Dr. John Crews Pelot [#259]); 41. Thompson B. Lamar, Jefferson; 42. John C. McGehee, Madison and President of Secession Convention; 43. Thomas M. Palmer, Jefferson; 44. B. W. Saxon, Hernando; 45. Adam McNealey, Jackson; 46. Ezekiel Glazier, Manatee; 47. William S. Harris, Secretary of Secession Convention; 48. S. S. Alderman, Jackson [Only survivor by 1 October 1914]; 49. Jas. B. Owens, Marion; 50. George T. Ward, Leon; 51. John Beard, Leon; 52. W. G. M. Davis, Leon; 53. R. R. Golden, Holmes; 54. J. Patten Anderson, Jefferson; 55. Isaac S. Coon, New River [now Bradford]; 56. David G. Leigh, Sumter; 57. E. P. Barronton, Lafayette; 58. W. McGahagin, Marion; 59. Asa F. Tift, Dade; 60. George Helvenston, Levy; 61. Joseph Thomas, Hamilton; 62. J. P. Sanderson, Duval, 16th District; 63. Winer Bethel, Monroe; 64. Jackson Morton, Santa Rosa; 65. Joseph A. Collier, Jackson; 66. James B. Dawkins, Alachua; 67. I. M. Daniel, Duval; 68. James Kirksey, Leon; 69. Jas. O. Devall, Putnam; 70. Daniel Ladd, Wakulla.


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