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"Cornerstone Speech" by Alexander Stephens in Savannah, Georgia, March 21, 1861

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Courtesy of the Indiana State Library, Stephens, Alexander Hamilton, pp. 717-729, 21 March 1861


Alexander Hamilton Stephens, vice president of the Confederate States of America, gave this speech on March 21, 1861 to justify secession. Stephens' speech declared that disagreements over the enslavement of Africans was the "immediate cause" of secession.

Full Transcript of Alexander Hamilton Stephens' Speech

Transcribed Excerpts from Alexander Hamilton Stephens' Speech

Source-Dependent Questions

  • Why does Alexander Hamilton Stephens think the Confederate Constitution is better than the U.S. Constitution? Give specific examples.
  • What role does slavery play in the new Confederate Constitution? Cite specific examples from the text.

Citation Information 

Stephens, Alexander Hamilton, "Alexander H. Stephens, in public and private: with letters and speeches, before, during, and since the war by Henry Cleveland," p. 717-729, 21 March 1861. Courtesy of the Indiana State Library