The Mississippi Secession Convention
Delegates and Deliberations in Politics and War, 1861-1865

By Timothy B. Smith

312 pages, 6 x 9 inches, 13 b&w illustrations, 5 maps, appendices, bibliography, index

978-1-62846-097-1 Printed casebinding $60.00S

978-1-4968-0957-5 Paper $25.00S

Printed casebinding, $60.00

Paper, $25.00


The Mississippi Secession Convention is the first full treatment of any secession convention to date. Studying the solutions to seemingly overwhelming economic problems. Among the thorniest of those was rural southern poverty. In Trouble in Goshen, Fred C. Smith focuses on three communities designed and implemented to meet that challenge. This book examines the economic and social theories--and their histories--that resulted in the creation and operation of the most aggressive and radical experiments in the United States. Trouble in Goshen chronicles three communitarian experiments, both the administrative details and the struggles and reactions of the clients. Smith covers the Tupelo Homesteads in Mississippi, the Dyess Colony in Arkansas, and the Delta Cooperative Farm, also in Mississippi. The Tupelo Homesteads Mississippi convention of 1861 offers insight into how and why southern states seceded and the effects of such a breech. Based largely on primary sources, this book provides a unique insight into the broader secession movement.

There was more to the secession convention than the mere act of leaving the Union, which was done only three days into the deliberations. The rest of the three-week January 1861 meeting as well as an additional week in March saw the delegates debate and pass a number of important ordinances that for a time governed the state. As seen through the eyes of the delegates themselves, with rich research into each member, this book provides a compelling overview of the entire proceeding.

The effects of the convention gain the most analysis in this study, including the political processes that, after the momentous vote, morphed into unlikely alliances. Those on opposite ends of the secession question quickly formed new political allegiances in a predominantly Confederate-minded convention. These new political factions formed largely over the issues of central versus local authority, which quickly played into Confederate versus state issues during the Civil War. In addition, author Timothy B. Smith considers the lasting consequences of defeat, looking into the effect secession and war had on the delegates themselves and, by extension, Mississippi.

TIMOTHY B. SMITH, Adamsville, Tennessee, teaches history at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He is the author, editor, or coeditor of twelve books, including Mississippi in the Civil War: The Home Front; and James Z. George: Mississippi's Great Commoner (both published by University Press of Mississippi).

312 pages, 6 x 9 inches, 13 b&w illustrations, 5 maps, appendices, bibliography, index