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Union or Secession
  • "Virginia will not submit"
On April 16, 1861, the editor of the Fredericksburg News described President Abraham Lincoln's call for militiamen as "The most convincing argument in favor of the secession of the Border States."
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"Virginia will not submit"

Editorial in Fredericksburg News, April 16, 1861.

Following the surrender of Fort Sumter, in South Carolina, on April 13, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln requested 75,000 militiamen, including 2,340 officers and men from Virginia, to put down the Southern rebellion. Governor John Letcher refused to comply with Lincoln's request. On April 16, the editor of the Fredericksburg News described Lincoln's actions as "The most convincing argument in favor of the secession of the Border States." The next day, the Virginia Convention voted to secede from the Union by a vote of 88 to 55.

Editorial in Fredericksburg News, April 16, 1861.

SECESSION DOCUMENTS.— The most convincing argument in favor of the secession of the Border States is contained in Lincoln's response to Virginia and his Proclamation for 75,000 troops. The first is a declaration of war, which he has no constitutional right to make. The second, instead of a call for a National Convention and an appeal to reason, is a demand for brute force, and a threat to settle by the bayonet and bullet and not by the ballot box. Virginia will not submit to a military dictator. Henceforth his subjects and we are two people.