Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb, Secession (American National Biography)

Thomas D. Morris, "Cobb, Thomas Reade Rootes," American National Biography Online, February 2000,
Despite his legal work Cobb is perhaps remembered more for his role in the secession of Georgia and for his contributions to the Confederacy. Cobb had been a moderate Unionist most of his life and had sought to promote the presidential aspirations of his brother Howell. By the late 1850s he had switched dramatically to become one of the most fiery supporters of secession in order to preserve the society he deemed sacred. He gave a widely circulated and influential speech to the Georgia Assembly in November 1860 in which he argued for and defended the right of secession. Separation was not only constitutional, he claimed, it was necessary because each section was made up of "a distinct people, having different social organizations, different pursuits, different memories, different hopes, different destinies." He spent the next few months speaking around Georgia, urging withdrawal from the Union. Privately he deprecated the timidity of those who wanted Georgia to secede only with other southern states, and when Georgia finally withdrew Cobb worked on the new state constitution. After he and his brother Howell were selected to serve in the provisional Confederate congress, he worked on the Confederate constitution as well.
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