Border State Most Likely To Secede

Which Border State Was Most Likely To Secede?

  • Missouri

    Votes: 17 36.2%
  • Kentucky

    Votes: 17 36.2%
  • Maryland

    Votes: 11 23.4%
  • Delaware

    Votes: 2 4.3%

  • Total voters
    47
Jun 2013
6,394
USA
#1
This isn't focusing on alternate history. This is a simple question. Which border state would be most likely to secede and why? All border states obviously remained neutral, joined the union, or had a split decision. But based on the situation as more states were seceding in April and May of 1861, which border state would have been most likely to wholly vote to secede and join the CSA. Missouri for example sent delegates to the US and CS congress. I'm talking about an official government declaring secession.

Missouri, Delaware (That would be really hard to convince), Maryland, or Kentucky?
 

Salah

Forum Staff
Oct 2009
23,284
Maryland
#2
Missouri was bipolar. Both sides claimed it, or various parts of it, over the course of the War. I voted accordingly. Lincoln himself was afraid of Kentucky seceding - he said that the Union would lose 'the whole game' if that happened.

I really don't see Maryland or Delaware seceding.
 

Viperlord

Ad Honorem
Aug 2010
8,109
VA
#3
Missouri rejected secession by a majority in the legislature, and the Confederates restored to brute force (after arming pro-Confederate elements with stolen federal weapons to try and overthrow the state government, with the collaboration of the state's own governor) to try and seize the state, so Missouri was one of the least likely. It was also ass-backwards in that the northern part of the state held most of the secessionists. Maryland was probably the most likely; the most populous part of the state had secessionist sympathies. Lincoln didn't give Maryland the chance for a fully representative vote on the matter so it's speculative, though.
 
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Salah

Forum Staff
Oct 2009
23,284
Maryland
#4
Maryland was probably the most likely; the most populous part of the state had secessionist sympathies. Lincoln didn't give Maryland the chance for a fully representative vote on the matter so it's speculative, though.
Maybe I'm letting my own statesism blind me :lol:

Maryland's northern and western counties tended to be pro-Union, however, and even Baltimore wasn't exclusively pro-secession.
 

Viperlord

Ad Honorem
Aug 2010
8,109
VA
#6
Maybe I'm letting my own statesism blind me :lol:

Maryland's northern and western counties tended to be pro-Union, however, and even Baltimore wasn't exclusively pro-secession.
True, but the fact that Lincoln was concerned enough to shut down habeas corpus in the state and arrest secessionist legislators indicates to me that it was the closest to actually choosing secession at that point. Whereas in Missouri, the governor restored to illegal diversion of arms and money and secret deals with Davis to try and bring the state into the CSA. While 40,000 Missourians or so fought for the Confederacy, nearly three times that number took up the Union cause.
 
May 2012
1,090
#7
Maryland was probably the most likely; the most populous part of the state had secessionist sympathies. Lincoln didn't give Maryland the chance for a fully representative vote on the matter so it's speculative, though.
I've read that many historians don't believe Maryland would have seceded even if Lincoln hadn't done anything to intervene. I think this is probably true, given that about 70 percent of Marylanders who fought in the war fought for the Union.
 

Viperlord

Ad Honorem
Aug 2010
8,109
VA
#8
I've read that many historians don't believe Maryland would have seceded even if Lincoln hadn't done anything to intervene. I think this is probably true, given that about 70 percent of Marylanders who fought in the war fought for the Union.
Maybe but even if true, I don't think that statistic is entirely representative; much of Maryland was swarming with armed Federal soldiers for most of the war, especially at the Potomac crossings, so even secessionist sympathizers would have had a hard time actually joining the Confederates forces further south if they wanted to take up arms.
 
Jun 2013
6,394
USA
#9
Missouri rejected secession by a majority in the legislature, and the Confederates restored to brute force (after arming pro-Confederate elements with stolen federal weapons to try and overthrow the state government, with the collaboration of the state's own governor) to try and seize the state, so Missouri was one of the least likely. It was also ass-backwards in that the northern part of the state held most of the secessionists. Maryland was probably the most likely; the most populous part of the state had secessionist sympathies. Lincoln didn't give Maryland the chance for a fully representative vote on the matter so it's speculative, though.
Really? Interesting. Funny because I live in Missouri. I thought that it was equally scattered throughout the state. Plus the pro-CSA forces did have their bases in the south and southwest mainly. They had to take Lexington by force. Is there a map or something that shows a spread of pro and anti slavery populations?

Maybe I'm letting my own statesism blind me :lol:

Maryland's northern and western counties tended to be pro-Union, however, and even Baltimore wasn't exclusively pro-secession.
Again, I wish there was a map for these things. My understanding of Maryland was that it was more pro-slavery but more anti-secessionist.
 

Viperlord

Ad Honorem
Aug 2010
8,109
VA
#10
I thought that it was equally scattered throughout the state. Plus the pro-CSA forces did have their bases in the south and southwest mainly
For convenience of receiving support from CSA forces in Arkansas mainly. Price's guard units were receiving stolen federal weapons from arsenals further south. And after Lyon and Blair seized control of most of the state, there was nowhere else for them to go.

Is there a map or something that shows a spread of pro and anti slavery populations?
Pretty sure there were no opinion polls on it at the time. But most of the larger slaveholders were further north in Missouri I believe, whereas the south, especially the southwest closer to the Ozark Plateau, was not such great plantation country.
 

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