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by February 1, 1861, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas followed (secession).
Six of these states declared themselves to be a sovereign nation, the Confederate States of America, and adopted a constitution.
President Buchanan and President-elect Lincoln refused to recognize the Confederacy, declaring secession illegal. The Confederacy selected Jefferson Davis as its provisional President on February 9, 1861.
On February 23, 1861, Lincoln arrived in disguise in Washington, D.C., which was placed under substantial military guard.