Military victories at Wilson’s Creek and Lexington in 1861 provided Missouri’s pro-secession Governor, Claiborne Fox Jackson, a great shift in political power. Having vacated Jefferson City, Jackson called the General Assembly back into session, asking them to meet at the Newton County Courthouse in Neosho on October 21, and charged the legislators with the duty of formally seceding from the Union.
The legality of the assembly, and thus, its resolutions, hinges on the presence of a quorum. Senators and representatives moved to suspend the roll call, no doubt trying to assemble enough members to make their proceedings legal. Technically the legislature had been disbanded and replaced by the Provisional Union Government, established at the end of July 1861, thus any resolutions passed would not be legally recognized by the United States government. Regardless of its legality, legislators met and passed an Ordinance of Secession cutting all ties to the United States government. The assembly also elected representatives to the Confederate Congress, and the paperwork was quickly sent to Richmond. On November 28, 1861, Missouri formally became the twelfth state to enter the Confederacy.
This journal of the Missouri Senate includes the proceedings of the extra session of the breakaway Missouri General Assembly called by Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson and held on October 21, 1861 in Neosho, Newton County, Missouri.
Categories: War & Conflict
Subject: Missouri House of Representatives; Missouri Senate; Secession; Jackson, Claiborne Fox; Civil War, 1861-1865
Contributing Institution: Wilson's Creek National Battlefield
Accession Number: WICR 797
Copy Request: Contact Wilson's Creek National Battlefield at: (417)-732-2662; 6424 West Farm Road 182 Republic, MO 65738.
Rights: Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, Springfield, Missouri