Over my vacation last week I received an email chain debating secession. One participant claimed that not only did the Constitution explicitly forbid secession, the founding generation thought it was illegal as well. For evidence, he cited a couple of lines from the Federalist and an incorrectly cited quote from George Washington’s letter to the Congress dated September 17, 1787. As they say, the devil is in the details. Both pieces of evidence were taken out of context, and while it could be argued that Hamilton was against secession, his duplicity invalidates almost anything he said on any topic. I wrote an entire book on that. My course on secession at the McClanahan Academy covers much of the arguments against secession, but I thought it would be useful to cover two of the quotes that this individual believes “prove” secession was and is illegal.