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.