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Wytheville Resolutions

Union or Secession
  • The maintenance of the Union is manifestly impossible
Six weeks after Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the United States and the week before South Carolina seceded from the Union, a group of men meeting in Wytheville on December 10, 1860, called for a state convention.
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The maintenance of the Union is manifestly impossible

Resolutions adopted at a public meeting in Wytheville on December 10, 1860, printed in the Lynchburg Daily Virginian, December 17, 1860.

On December 10, 1860, six weeks after Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the United States and the week before South Carolina seceded from the Union, a meeting of men in Wytheville called for a state convention because "the aggressions, injuries and insults of the Northern States and people, to and upon the Southern States and people have at last reached a point which renders the maintenance of the Union manifestly impossible without a change in the feelings of the Northern people." Voters in Wythe County gave Democrat John C. Breckinridge a majority in the presidential election in November 1860 and in February 1861 elected a supporter of secession to the Virginia Convention. During the protracted secession crisis, men and women in many other Virginia counties and cities also held meetings to make their opinions known.

Resolutions adopted at a public meeting in Wytheville on December 10, 1860, printed in the Lynchburg Daily Virginian, December 17, 1860.
Whereas the aggressions, injuries and insults of the Northern States and people, to and upon the Southern States and people have at last reached a point which renders the maintenance of the Union manifestly impossible without a change in the feelings of the Northern people, as well as in the action of their legislative bodies; and whereas, also, several of our sister Southern States have called Conventions of their people, and are proceeding to take such steps as they may deem necessary for the preservation of their interests, rights, honor and safety, and it is fitting that the voice of Virginia should be heard amid the din of these difficulties—therefore,
Resolved, That our Delegate and Senator in the General Assembly, soon to meet in extra session, be, and they are hereby instructed to vote for the call of a Convention of the people of this Commonwealth, for the purpose of taking such action as may be consistent with the duty, honor, safety and interests of Virginia, in the present emergency.
Resolved, That the people of Virginia and all the southern States have a right to insist upon a full and final settlement of all the matters which have so long produced section agitation and disquiet; and that whatever may be done ought to be not only adequate but permanent in its effect.
Resolved, That without pretending to dictate to other portions of our people the course which ought to be pursued, we are ready to concur in any action which a majority of the people of Va. may adopt.