Catoosa County Residents Meet About Secession

Catoosa MeetingI came across this interesting article while looking into the history of slavery in Catoosa County. The passage, printed by the “Rome Weekly Courier” on December 21, 1860, lists the resolutions adopted by the county in response to the Georgia Secession Convention. I find it interesting that this small Appalachian county recognized the key issue that tore the country apart in 1860. In fact, slavery is the only issue listed by name; not taxes, not states’ rights, and not tyranny. I retyped the article below. 

Catoosa County Meeting

At a meeting of all parties held in Ringgold on the 10th, the following resolutions were adopted, and J. T. McConnell, Esq., and Maj. Presley Yates[1] nominated in accordance with the same.

Resolved, That we approve of the call for a State Convention, the only legal and responsible organ of “the people,” whether they come from “the cross-roads,” or from the cities.
Resolved, That we deprecate every movement that looks to separate State action on the part of the Southern States, as fraught with mischief and confusion, and which must ultimately end in humiliation, bankruptcy, and bloodshed. In co-operation alone is wisdom and safety. Embarked in the same cause, identified with the same institutions with a common cause to meet, (in the opinion of this meeting,) it would be wrong for a single Southern State, by separate action and without consultation, to attempt to decide the great question which now presses upon the South. Not only for herself, but for the remaining fourteen other Southern sister States also.
Resolved, That the time has come for a final settlement of the slavery question upon an unequivocal and enduring basis and to a general conference of all of the Southern States we would entrust the duty of declaring what that basis shall be with the distinct understanding that whatever may be the determination of said conference, the whole South will abide by it as one man.
Resolved, That we, uncompromisingly oppose the overthrow of our present Republican form of Government in these Southern States. Surely such an idea can find no favour [sic] with the friends of civil and religious liberty; and can proceed alone from disappointed partisans who vainly imagine that the government and all its officers and honors rightfully belong to the favored few who are “afraid of Conventions and unwilling to wait to hear from the people,” even in matters of most vital concern to the people themselves.


[1] At the Georgia Secession Convention, J. T. McConnell voted “yes” for secession and signed the ordinance. Presley Yates voted “no” and refused to sign the ordinance [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_signers_of_the_Georgia_Ordinance_of_Secession]

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2 thoughts on “Catoosa County Residents Meet About Secession

    1. HA! I was drinking Barq’s Root beer when I read that. You owe me a new keyboard.

      I linked to a scan of the paper I found that article in. On that same page, there is an article about a similar meeting at Chattooga County. Their resolutions are an interesting read. The wanted to re-assert the ‘Georgia Platform’ (1850) and urged people to just ignore slavery. Sort of a re-institution of the ‘gag rule.’ They found the issue of slavery to be divisive. In fact, I may write an article about that considering that I commented on the county’s Confederate Flag issue earlier this year.

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