John M. Smith to Governor John Letcher, September 23, 1860, Executive Papers of John Letcher, Acc. 36787, State Government Records Collection, Record Group 3, Library of Virginia.
John M. Smith, of Giles County, wrote the governor of Virginia in September 1860, "I would like to Know from you what is to prevent me from Voting for Lincoln. as he is the man I prefer. the reason of this letter is that there is a great deal of threatning on the part of Slave holders in regard to poor men excerciseng the elective franchise." There is no record that the governor answered his letter, which the governor's clerk docketed, "Jno M Smith asking to be protected in casting his vote in the Presidential election for Lincoln." There is no surviving official return from Giles County, but all of the published election records indicate that the officers of election reported no votes for Abraham Lincoln in the county.