Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Alabama State Capitol & the Secession of Alabama - Montgomery, Alabama

Alabama State Capitol
It was 150 years ago this week that delegates meeting at the historic State Capitol in Montgomery voted to approve Alabama's secession from the Union.

The secession vote took place on January 11, 1861, as Alabama became the fourth state to leave the Union. South Carolina, Mississippi and Florida had already done so. The Alabama secession document holds a unique place in Southern history, however, as it also included an invitation for other Southern states to convene in Montgomery on February 4, 1861, to consider measures for the "common peace and security." This invitation, of course, led to the formation of the Confederate States of America and the designation of Montgomery as the first capital of the new nation.

The Alabama Ordinance of Secession was also unique in that it specifically named the election of Abraham Lincoln as President and Hannibal Hamlin as Vice President as the primary reasons for the state's departure from the Union.

Where Jefferson Davis took the Oath of Office
The Alabama State Capitol stands today as one of the most beautiful and historic buildings in the nation. Built in 1851 on "Goat Hill" at the end of Dexter Avenue in Montgomery, the structure includes an interior spiral stairway built by noted African-American engineer and builder Horace King. It is noteworthy that King had received his freedom from slavery through a special act of the Alabama State Legislature.

Jefferson Davis took the oath of office as President of the Confederacy on the front portico of the building (a bronze star marks the spot) and it was hear that decisions were made leading to the firing on Fort Sumter in April of 1861 that officially ignited the Civil War (or War Between the States).

The Alabama State Capitol later played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights movement and remains in use today as the center of government in the state. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To learn more, please visit

If you are interested in learning more about the events of the War Between the States as they happened, please follow this link to check in daily with our new online journal: Civil War Daily!

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