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1860

Union or Secession
  • 1860 "ends in gloom and sadness"
The editor of the Alexandria Gazette wrote about the "gloom and sadness" that pervaded the country on the last day of 1860.
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1860 "ends in gloom and sadness"

Editorial in Alexandria Gazette, December 31, 1860.

"THE YEAR 1860 is about to pass away forever! It ends in gloom and sadness," wrote the editor of the Alexandria Gazette, reflecting the opinions of many Virginians who worried about the future at the end of the year 1860. South Carolina had seceded from the United States on December 20, and Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama had recently held elections for delegates to state conventions that would consider the question of secession in January 1861.

Editorial in the Alexandria Gazette, December 31, 1860.
THE YEAR 1860 is about to pass away forever! It ends in gloom and sadness. No one, at its commencement anticipated its mournful termination. We had once, as a united Nation, a bright future. Now clouds and darkness settle upon the horizon, and are gradually gathering over the whole land! The hearts of the people are sorrowful. Every mind is depressed. Passion and excitement, wrong doing, and a departure from the spirit of our Constitution, and the principles of our fathers, and the founders of our government, have accomplished the sad calamity, which has already fallen upon us, and which even threatens worse results.— Would that there could be a return to the feelings which once prevailed, to the harmony which once existed, to the comity and friendship which once knit the States together, and made the people proud of a common government and a glorious Union, "known and honored through all the earth." Would that a kind and gracious Providence would now interfere to soften the prejudices, and turn the hearts of men to justice, and truth, and peace! Even now, if those in one section, who by their aggressive course, their unwarrantable proceedings, and their persistent disregard of the rights and feelings of the other section, have hurried on the present crisis, in our national affairs, could be brought to a sense of the peril before them and us, and would turn from the errors of their ways, "the bow of hope might yet, it may be, be seen spanning the heavens, and giving promise of a brighter day!"