The Southern Rights Party was an offshoot of the Democratic party in several Southern states which advocated secession from the Union, electing a number of Congressmen and holding referendums on secession in a number of southern states (none of which were successful).
It was unclear in early 1852 if the Party would contest the presidential election. When the Alabama state convention was held in early March, only nine counties were represented. The party decided to see who was nominated by the two major national parties and support one of them if possible. When Georgia held its state convention, it acted as the state Democratic Party and sent delegates to the national convention.
After the Democratic National Convention, the Party was not sure that it wanted to support Franklin Pierce, the Democratic nominee. Alabama held a state convention from July 13–15 and discussed at length the options of running a separate ticket or supporting Pierce. The convention was unable to arrive at a decision, deciding to appoint a committee to review the positions of Scott and Pierce with the option of calling a “national” convention if the two major party candidates appeared deficient. The committee took its time reviewing the positions of Pierce and Scott, finally deciding on August 25 to call a convention for a Southern Rights Party ticket.
The convention assembled in Montgomery, Alabama, with 62 delegates present, a committee to recommend a ticket being appointed while the delegates listened to speeches in the interim. The committee eventually recommended former Senator George Troup of Georgia for President, and former Governor John Quitman of Mississippi for Vice-President; they were unanimously nominated.
The two nominees accepted their nominations soon after the convention, which was held rather late in the season. Troup stated in a letter, dated September 27 and printed in the New York Times on October 16, that he had planned to vote for Pierce and had always wholeheartedly supported William R.D. King. He indicated in the letter that he preferred to decline the honor, as he was rather ill at the time and feared that he would die before the election. The Party's executive committee edited the letter to excise those portions which indicated that Troup preferred to decline, a fact which was revealed after the election.

Troup carried only two counties nationwide, both in Alabama: Henry and Lowndes.

Daniel Webster carried 50 plus percent of the vote in Laurens County and 60 plus percent of the vote in Montgomery, Troup's other home county.  Local voters ignored Troup's endorsement and voted for the New England Whig, turned third party Union Party candidate, who died nine days before the election.