Excerpts from a speech of John Snyder Carlile in the Virginia Convention on March 7, 1861, printed in George H. Reese and William H. Gaines, Jr., eds., Proceedings of the Virginia State Convention of 1861 (Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1965), 1:458–459, 468–470, 476–477.
In a long speech in the Virginia Convention on March 7, 1861, John Snyder Carlile, of Clarksburg, in Harrison County, defended the Union as the great protector of slavery. In the first section of the excerpt he referred to the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which the Supreme Court had overturned in Dred Scott v. Sandford in 1857. Carlile enumerated the advantages that remaining in the Union had for Southern slaveowners. "I believe that slavery is a social, political and religious blessing," he stated. "Believing that the institution of slavery is essential to the preservation of our liberties, I desire above all things to continue it."