Original Document
Original Document
Resolution calling for a Convention to determine whether Pennsylvania should secede from the Union, Philadelphia, PA, January 16, 1861.

On January 16, 1861 a crowd of about 4,000 met at National Hall in Philadelphia to demonstrate for a peaceful resolution to the secession crisis. The meeting passed resolutions that favored states" rights, the Crittenden Compromise, and other concessions to the South. The twelfth resolution, included below, was much more drastic.

Resolved, That in the deliberate judgement of the Democracy of Philadelphia, and, so far as we know it, of Pennsylvania, the dissolution of the Union by the separation of the whole South , a result we shall most sincerely lament, may release this Commonwealth from the bonds which now connect her with the Confederacy except so far as for temporary convenience she chooses to submit to them, and would authorize and require her citizens through a Convention to be assembled for that purpose, to determine with whom her lot should be cast, whether with the North and East, whose fanaticism has precipitated this misery upon us, or with her brethren of the South, whose wrongs we feel as our own, or whether Pennsylvania should stand by herself, as a distinct community ready when occasion offers to bind together the broken Union, and resume her place of loyalty and devotion.

Credit: Philadelphia Inquirer, January 17, 1861, reprinted in Arnold M. Shankman, The Pennsylvania Antiwar Movement, 1861-1865. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1980.
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