"to take into consideration the greatest and most solemn question that ever engaged the attention of any legislative body on the continent." The legislature met at Jackson, November 26, 1860, and, after citing in a preamble their reasons for so doing, adopted the following resolution: "Be it Resolved, by the legislature of the State of Mississippi: That, in the opinion of those who now constitute the said legislature, the secession of each aggrieved State is the proper remedy for these injuries." This resolution was approved by the governor on November 30, 1860.
This legislature also passed a bill providing for a convention of the people of Mississippi, agreeably to which an election was to be held, according to law, in each precinct of every county in the State, sixty in number, for delegates to the convention, just as in case of an election for representatives to the legislature, each county being entitled to the same number of delegates in the convention as in the legislature, including the representation of any city or town. The election was to be held on the 20th day of December, 1860. The legislature, having submitted the question to the people, adjourned sine die, November goth. The question whether the State should secede or not was debated before the people in every county of the State, some of the most able and distinguished citizens upholding the negative of the issue.
Under the provisions of the bill convoking the sovereign people of the State in convention, passed by both branches of the legislature without a dissenting voice, an election for delegates to the convention was held at the time and places mentioned, resulting in favor of secession delegates by a popular majority of not less than 18,000. The delegates elected, one hundred in all, assembled at the capitol in the city of Jackson on Monday, the 7th day of January, 1861, and on the following Wednesday, the 9th day of January, 1861, the ordinance of secession was adopted.