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

Prepare for a separation

Union or Secession
  • Prepare for a separation
In March 1861, Marshall Mortimer Dent, a member of the Virginia Convention from Monongalia County, in northwestern Virginia, advised his constituents to prepare for a separation of western from eastern Virginia.
Related Biographies:
  • Marshall Mortimer Dent (1828–1901)
    Marshall Mortimer Dent
« Return to Referendum on Taxation of Slaves

Prepare for a separation

Excerpts from reports from Richmond by Monongalia County convention delegate Marshall Mortimer Dent from the lost March 16 and March 23, 1861, issues of the Morgantown Virginia Weekly Star, of which Dent was part owner and editor, as reprinted in the Daily Richmond Enquirer, March 26, 1861.

Marshall Mortimer Dent, an owner of the Morgantown Virginia Weekly Star, in northwestern Virginia, reported for his newspaper from his seat in the Virginia Convention. In March 1861, he grumbled about how people in Richmond, including slave traders, treated western delegates and opponents of secession. That led him to denounce the state's tax policies that placed a limit on the taxable value of slaves and that worked to the interest of eastern slaveowners but provided no limitations on the taxable value of any other property. This was especially unpopular in the western counties where there were comparatively few slaves. "We, therefore, tell the people of Western Virginia," Dent concluded, "to prepare themselves for a separation from their Eastern brethren. It is bound to come sooner or later, and that being the case, the sooner the better. We call upon our people to stand up for their rights." The Daily Richmond Enquirer reprinted Dent's reports with sarcastic commentaries.

Extracts from reports from Richmond by Monongalia County convention delegate Marshall Mortimer Dent from the lost March 16 and March 23, 1861, issues of the Morgantown Virginia Weekly Star, of which Dent was part owner and editor, as reprinted in the Daily Richmond Enquirer, March 26, 1861.