The State Convention
Elected to the State Convention
of the State Convention
and Resolutions of the State Convention
|On December 20, 1860, the South Carolina Secession
Convention unanimously passed an Ordinance to secede from the
Union, and on December 24th, this decision was made public. President
James Buchanan declared the Ordinance illegal but made no attempts
to stop it.
|On January 1, 1861, the sitting North Carolina
General Assembly passed an Act calling for its own "secession
convention" - A Convention of the People. Click
Here to view this legislative Act calling for the convention.
This Act first specified that "the people" must vote
for "a convention" or "no convention" on
February 28, 1861. The People overwhelmingly voted for "a
|On May 1, 1861, the second session of the sitting
North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize Governor
John W. Ellis to call for "A Convention of the People"
and for the people to elect their delegates on May 13th such
that the Convention may commence on May 20th, the 86th anniversary
of the Mecklenburg Declaration of 1775. Click
Here to view this legislative Act. The people were to
elect 120 delegates in the same proportion as they recently voted
for in the House of Commons.
|On May 20th, the State Convention assembled at
11 o'clock a.m. in the House of Commons chamber in Raleigh and
the delegates elected Weldon N. Edwards of Warren County as their
President. Walter L. Steele of Richmond County was elected Principle
Secretary, and Leonidas C. Edwards of Granville County as Assistant
Secretary. By the end of this first day, these delegates unanimously
voted for North Carolina to secede from the Union.
Since the North Carolina General Assembly had convened, this
Convention continued to meet on four separate occasions. Since
they were not the official legislature of the State, they could
not pass legislative Acts, but they did pass many Ordinances,
which served the same purpose as Acts. They also issued many
Resolutions that were considered to be a legal as any passed
by the General Assembly. The four sessions of the State Convention
Session #1 - May 20th to June 28th in 1861.
Session #2 - November 18th to December 13th in 1861.
Session #3 - January 20th to February 26th in 1862.
Session #4 - April 21st to May 13th in 1862.
|It was also on the first day of this Convention
that John D. Whitford of Craven County introduced the first North
Carolina State Flag. Click
Here to read more about the state flag.