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The editor is entitled to thanks

Union or Secession
  • "The Editor is entitled to the thanks of every true patriot"
Mary Berkeley Minor Blackford wrote on April 3, 1861, about the difficulties that Charles W. Button, editor of the Unionist Lynchburg Daily Virginian, was experiencing keeping his newspaper in business.
Related documents:
  • "Anguish of mind about the ruin of our great Country"
Related Biographies:
  • Mary Berkeley Minor Blackford (1802–1896)
    Mary Berkeley Minor Blackford
  • Charles William Button (1822–1894)
    Charles William Button
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"The Editor is entitled to the thanks of every true patriot"

Mary Berkley Minor Blackford to John Barbee Minor, April 3, 1861, Minor and Wilson Family Papers, Small Special Collections, University of Virginia.

Mary Berkeley Minor Blackford, of Lynchburg, had a long history of antislavery sympathies. On April 3, 1861, she wrote to her cousin, John Barbee Minor, about the difficulties that Charles William Button, editor of the Unionist Lynchburg Daily Virginian, was experiencing keeping his newspaper in business. "I did not use to read the political papers," she wrote, "but since my Country has been in such a state of threatened ruin, I feel the intensest interest in all its affairs." In February 1861, the district of Lynchburg and Campbell County elected two delegates to the Virginia Convention. On the day after Blackford wrote her letter, one delegate voted against and one voted for secession when the motion failed 90 to 45. They both voted for secession on April 17, and thereafter, prosecession sentiment rapidly increased. At the May 23, 1861, vote on ratifying the Ordinance of Secession, 2,504 men in the district voted for ratification, and none against.

Mary Berkley Minor Blackford to John Barbee Minor, April 3, 1861, Minor and Wilson Family Papers, Small Special Collections, University of Virginia.

Mr John B. Minor April 3d 1861.
Dear Cousin
The Virginian has battled so ably and so bravely for the Union since the Country has been in so much danger that the Editor is entitled to the thanks of every true patriot. I send you the two last papers, you see he needs encouragement, from men like you.
You know he has suffered much here in having his brother shot like a dog before his eyes, and seeing nothing done to the murderers.
I did not use to read the political papers, but since my Country has been in such a state of threatened ruin, I feel the intensest interest in all its affairs. If it were not that I could go to Him who rules the destinies of nations I know not what I should do.
But it is hard to believe and trust when the prospect seems to get darker and darker for our Country, and I see those going off whom I thought would stand firm. My own beloved sons, I labored to train to love their Country and to be willing to die (if need be) by her flag—Yet I may live to see them fighting against it.
I have gone off from my first intention. If you see fit perhaps you may become a subscriber to the Virginian at this time, and might say something to show that you appreciate his efforts to save his Country. I wish you could get some Union men now to take his paper, and strengthen his hands, while the battle rages.
I will send you Eugene's last letter to let you see that though he has been appointed Capt in Alabama he is as good a Union man as ever. When you write, send me the letter back—I prise his letters so much. God bless the boy.
I had written in trouble at his accepting any office under the seceding government—this letter is his answer.
Give my love to Nannie and Mary Lancelot, when is the latter coming to pay that visit to us?
Your affectionate Cousin
MARY