March 19, 1861: Missouri Convention rejects secession

The Missouri Secession Convention, meeting in St. Louis, passed resolutions rejecting secession and endorsing the Crittenden Compromise. The first resolution, rejecting secession, passed 89 to 1. Note the amendment of resolution 5, which steps back from condemning coercive force by the Federal government to merely recommending that they let go of the southern forts. You would think that these resolutions would make a clear case against the secession of Missouri, but the governor would fail to take that hint later.

1. Resolved, That at present there is no adequate cause to impel Missouri to dissolve her connection with the Federal Union, but on the contrary she will labor for such an adjustment of existing troubles as will secure the peace, as well as the rights and equality of all the States.

[Adopted 89-1, March 19, 1861]
 
2. Resolved, That the people of this State are devotedly attached to the institutions of our country and earnestly desire that by a fair and amicable adjustment all the causes of disagreement that at present unfortunately distract us a people may be removed, to the end that our Union may be preserved and perpetuated, and peace and harmony be restored between the North and the South.

[Adopted 90-0, March 19, 1861]
 
3. Resolved, That the people of this State deem the amendments to the Constitution of the United States, proposed by the Hon. John I. Crittenden of Kentucky, which the extension of the same to the territory hereafter to be acquired by treaty or otherwise, a basis of adjustment which will successfully remove the causes of difference forever from the arena of national politics.

[Adopted 90-4, March 20, 1861]
 
4. Resolved, That the people of Missouri believe the peace and quiet of the country will be promoted by a Convention to propose amendments to the Constitution of the United States, and this Convention therefore urges the Legislature of this State to take the proper steps for calling such a Convention in pursuance of the fifth article of the Constitution, and for providing by law for an election of one delegate to such Convention from each electoral district in this State.

[Substituted by:]

4. Resolved, That the people of Missouri believe the peace and quiet of the country will be promoted by a Convention, to propose amendments to the Constitution of the United States, and this Convention therefore urges the Legislature of this State, and of the other States, to take the proper steps for calling such a Convention in pursuance of the fifth article of the Constitution; and for providing by law for an election of by the people of such number of delegates as are to be sent to such Convention.

[Adopted 85-9, March 20, 1861]
 
5. Resolved, That in the opinion of this Convention, the employment of military force by the Federal Government to coerce the submission of the seceding States, or the employment of military force by the seceding States to assail the Government of tho United States, will inevitably plunge this country into civil war, and thereby entirely extingulsh all hope of an amicable settlement of the fearful issues now pending before the country; we therefore earnestly entreat, as well the Federal Government as the seceding States, to withhold and staythe arm of military power, and on no pretense whatever bring upon the nation the horrors of civil war.

[amendment, March 20, 1861]

This Convention is not sufficiently acquainted with all the facts concerning the forts of the United Suites within the limits of the seceding States, as to be able to give an opinion with reference to the best course to be pursued by the Federal Government, but this Convention earnestly hopes that such action may be taken by the United States and the seceding States as will avoid all hostile collision between the United Stales and said seceding States.
 
That it is the opinion of this Convention, that our cherished desire to preserve our country from the ruins of civil war and its devastating influence, and the restoration of harmony and fraternal feeling between the different sections, would be greatly promoted by the withdrawal of the Federal troops from such forts within the borders of the seceding States, when there is danger of a collision between the State and Federal troops, and we recommend that policy.

[Adopted as amended, March 20, 1861, by a 57-36 vote]

6. Resolved, That when this Convention adjourns its session in the city of St. Louis, it will meet in the hall of the House of Representatives at Jefferson City, on the third Monday of December, 1861.

[Adopted 76-19, March 20, 1861]
 
7. Resolved , That there shall be a committee consisting of the President of this Convention, who shall be ex officio chairman, and seven members, one from each Congressional district of the State, to he elected by this Convention, a majority of which shall have power to call invention together at such time prior to the third Monday in December next, and at such place as they may think the public exigencies require; and in case any vacancy shall happen in said committee by death, resignation, or otherwise during the recess of this Convention, the remaining members or member of said committee shall have power to fill such vacancy.

[Adopted March 21 without recording ayes and nays]
 

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