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No disunion but no concessions

Union or Secession
  • No disunion but no concessions
Working men met in Romney on January 19, 1861, and resolved that although they deplored the idea of disunion, they were unwilling to offer any concessions to the North "inconsistent with the rights and interests of the South."
Related documents:
  • Rockbridge County Resolutions
    Resolutions of Rockbridge County Working Men
  • National Workingmen's Convention
    National Workingmen's Convention
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No disunion but no concessions

Report of a public meeting in Romney, Hampshire County, on January 19, 1861, printed in Alexandria Gazette, January 29, 1861.

Newspapers during the winter of 1860–1861 reported on the numerous meetings held in many parts of the country at which workingmen adopted resolutions about the secession crisis. A large meeting in Romney, Hampshire County, on January 19, 1861, denounced assertions that white Southerners were of divided opinions about slavery. In Hampshire County, on the Potomac River border with Maryland, 8.7 percent of the population was enslaved. The men endorsed the compromise proposals that Senator John J. Crittenden, of Kentucky, had proposed in December, including a constitutional amendment that prohibited Congress from abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia without the consent of Maryland and from interfering with slavery in the states where it then existed. The Romney workingmen stated that they would "deplore the dissolution of the Union as one of the most terrible calamities that can possibly befall us; yet, whilst they would avoid so direful a consequence, they are unwilling to make any concession to the North inconsistent with the rights and interests of the South." On February 4, 1861, the county's voters elected two firm opponents of secession to the Virginia Convention.

Report of a public meeting in Romney, Hampshire County, on January 19, 1861, printed in Alexandria Gazette, January 29, 1861.
The working men of Romney, Hampshire Co., Va., held a large public meeting at that place on Saturday, the 19th instant, and adopted with unanimity resolutions which declared, in effect, that those assembled on the occasion cherish the Federal Union as the Paladium of our liberty, when the laws of the Constitution, and those enacted by Congress in accordance therewith, are promptly, efficiently and justly executed by all the parties concerned; and will deplore the dissolution of the Union as one of the most terrible calamities that can possibly befall us; yet, whilst they would avoid so direful a consequence, they are unwilling to make any concession to the North inconsistent with the rights and interests of the South. The resolutions pronounce untrue the statements of the Free Soil press of the North, that the non-slaveholders of the South are disaffected towards the institution of slavery; and fully endorsing the Crittenden compromise, pledge the lives and fortunes of those composing the meeting to the defence of Virginia, should all peaceable measures of adjustment be exhausted.