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Peace Conference Commissioner

Union or Secession
  • George William Summers accepts appointment to Peace Conference, January 25, 1861
George William Summers, of Kanawha County, accepted appointment on January 25, 1861, as one of five Virginia delegates to the national Peace Conference that the Virginia General Assembly had called.
Related documents:
  • "This Conference must act"
Related Biographies:
  • George William Summers (1804–1868)
    George William Summers
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George William Summers accepts appointment to Peace Conference, January 25, 1861

George William Summers to John Letcher, January 25, 1861, Executive Papers of Governor John Letcher, Acc. 36787, State Government Records Collection, Record Group 3, Library of Virginia.

In January 1861, the General Assembly of Virginia called for a national Peace Conference. To represent the state, it elected five men who lived in different regions of Virginia, some of them Democrats and some former Whigs. George William Summers, of Kanawha County, was one of the most distinguished former Whigs in Virginia and had been the party's candidate for governor in 1851. A noted opponent of secession, Summers was one of the upper South Whigs whom Abraham Lincoln briefly considered appointing to his cabinet. The Peace Conference met in Washington, D.C., from February 4 through February 27, 1861, and recommended that Congress submit a comprehensive constitutional amendment to the states to settle the sectional crisis permanently.

George William Summers to Governor John Letcher, January 25, 1861, Executive Papers of Governor John Letcher, Acc. 36787, State Government Records Collection, Record Group 3, Library of Virginia.

Kanawha CH. Va Jany 25th. 1861.
His Excellency Jno Letcher
Governor Va.
Sir
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt, by last nights mail, of your official notification of my appointment, by the General Assembly, now in session, as one of the commisioners, to carry out the object and intent of certain joint Resolutions adopted by that body, on the 19th ult. a copy of which you enclose me
I beg leave to express my most sincere thanks for the confidence and consideration implied by this appointment. Without hesitation, I accept its duties and will cheerfully repair to the place appointed, to lend all the asistance in my power, in accomplishing the patriotic purposes of the General Assembly.
With the highest Respect
Yr. obt St.
GEO W SUMMERS.