Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia
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Union or Secession
  • "The people have been hoodwinked and trampled upon"
Four days after President Abraham Lincoln's inauguration, Charles B. Coale, editor of the Abingdon Virginian, commented on the seceded states and Lincoln's inaugural address.
Related Biographies:
  • Charles B. Coale (d. 1879). Engraving in Lewis Preston Summers, <em>History of Southwest Virginia, Washington County, 1777—1870</em> (1903).
    Charles B. Coale
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"The people have been hoodwinked and trampled upon"

Two editorial comments from the Abingdon Virginian, March 8, 1861.

Many Virginians blamed extremists in both the North and the South for the crisis in the winter of 1860–1861. Referring to public opinion in some of the states that had already seceded by March 1861, Charles B. Coale, editor of the Abingdon Virginian wrote that "It has all been the work of politicians, and the people have been hoodwinked and trampled upon." In an adjacent column Coale commented on the inaugural address of President Abraham Lincoln, which he delivered on March 4, 1861. Virginians' reactions to the address ranged from enthusiasm to condemnation. In Washington County, voters gave Democratic presidential candidate John C. Breckinridge a majority in November 1860 but voted for opponents of secession in the February 4, 1861, election of members of the Virginia Convention.

Two editorial comments from the Abingdon Virginian, March 8, 1861.
What they think Now.
It is a truism, that those who make haste to do wrong, often repent at leisure, and in most cases, when repentance is too late to do good. We have daily indications of the reaction of reason in some of the seceded States,—in all of them except South Carolina—and she will never rest satisfied until she secedes from the Southern Confederacy. In not a single State that has joined the Southern Confederacy, have the people, the rightful sovereigns, had a word to say. It has all been the work of politicians, and the people have been hoodwinked and trampled upon.
Abe's Inaugural.
Our paper was nearly up when this document came to hand, and we have made room for it to the exclusion of other matter. We give it now without comment, for the reason that we have no space.
But, we must take room to say that the coercive policy squinted at, will have anything but a happy effect upon the friends of the Union in the South. We had hoped to see him conciliatory; but, should he attempt to carry out his intimations, all hopes of peace and harmony are at an end.
But more upon this subject when we shall have more room.