Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia
THIS PAGE HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Seize Fort Monroe and Harpers Ferry

Union or Secession
  • "For God's sake gov. seize fort 'Monroe & Harpers Ferry'"
  • "For God's sake gov. seize fort 'Monroe & Harpers Ferry'"
On January 21, 1861, Governor John Letcher received a curious letter signed "400 Citizens of Richmond" advising him to seize Harpers Ferry and Fort Monroe.
« Return to Virginians Debate and Take Sides

"For God's sake gov. seize fort 'Monroe & Harpers Ferry'"

Undated letter signed "400 Citizens of Richmond" to Governor John Letcher, received January 21, 1861, Executive Papers of Governor John Letcher, Acc. 36787, State Government Records Collection, Record Group 3, Library of Virginia.

On January 21, 1861, Governor John Letcher received a curious letter signed "400 Citizens of Richmond" advising him to seize Harpers Ferry, site of a United States arsenal, and Fort Monroe, at the mouth of the James River. The poorly written document concluded, "we donot want our own guns turned against us. You well know that if the U.S. Soldiers should ever get that fort (Monroe) Va could never regain it."

Undated letter signed "400 Citizens of Richmond" to Governor John Letcher, received January 21, 1861, Executive Papers of Governor John Letcher, Acc. 36787, State Government Records Collection, Record Group 3, Library of Virginia.

Richmond Va January 1861
Dear Sir—
For God's sake gov. seize fort "Monroe & Harpers Ferry," we appeal to you to do this because we learn from good authority "that reinenforcements will be sent to thease two places in less than 7 days". We write this not because we wish you to excite the people. nor not because we wish you to declare war against the U.S. But becaause we donot want our own guns turned against us. You well know that if the U.S. Soldiers should ever get that fort (Monroe) Va could never regain it—
yours respectfully
400 citizens of Richmond