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Civil War Secessions: Topics in Chronicling America

From 1860 to 1861, eleven states seceeded from the Union to make the Confederacy. This guide provides access to material related to "Civil War Secessions" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


"The secession argument in a nut shell." February 23, 1861. Anti-Slavery Bugle (New-Lisbon, OH), Image 3. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

A nation-breaking decision, the secession of eleven states from the Union divided not only geographical regions but pitted brother against brother. Here, we observe the actions that tore our country apart and nearly destroyed it forever. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


December 20, 1860 South Carolina risks all and secedes from the United States.
December 25, 1860 Late comical plea for South Carolina to not secede.
December 27, 1860 Reporting on South Carolinian militancy; A look at the cost of Secession.
January 11, 1861 Alabama drops the Stars and Stripes.
January 18, 1861 Louisiana elects a heavily-Secessionist delegation for upcoming state convention.
January 19, 1861 Georgia too abandons the Union.
February 5, 1861 Disunionists’ desire for Virginia to secede; different states’ views of secession.
February 23, 1861 The secession argument in a nut shell.
February 27, 1861 Letter from the Louisiana Commissioner calling for Texas to join Louisiana in secession.
April 17, 1861 Virginia disowns Uncle Sam.
May 9, 1861 How a Kentucky Editor Speaks; A southerner’s support of the Union.
May 20, 1861 North Carolina joins the Confederacy.
June 1, 1861 Northerner C.L. Vallandigham supports secession and the Confederacy.
June 8, 1861 Tennessee joins its southern brothers, becoming the final state to do so.