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Union or Secession
  • "The Union and the Constitution <em>must</em> be maintained"
Following the election of Abraham Lincoln as United States president, the editor of the Staunton Vindicator advised against secession on November 11, 1860.
Related documents:
  • "Our Convention hesitates to secede"
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"The Union and the Constitution must be maintained"

Editorial in the Staunton Vindicator, November 9, 1860.

When it became certain that Abraham Lincoln had won a majority of the electoral college votes and would become president of the United States, some Virginia newspaper editors argued that Virginia and the other slave states should leave the Union. The editor of the Staunton Vindicator advised caution. "Let Lincoln be inaugurated," the editor wrote, "and so long as his administration gives no practical violation of the rights of the South, we are clearly and decidedly opposed to any insane movements, such as South Carolina has inaugurated. The Union and the Constitution must be maintained." In Staunton and the other towns and counties in the Shenandoah Valley, advocates of secession made few converts in the weeks and first months after Lincoln's election.

Editorial in the Staunton Vindicator, November 9, 1860.
Disunion.
The reader's attention is called to the various extracts in to-day's paper, giving the spirit and purpose of South Carolina. We have only room this week to say that, for one, we are for maintaining the laws and the Constitution, and can never sanction any such revolutionary movements. Let Lincoln be inaugurated, and so long as his administration gives no practical violation of the rights of the South, we are clearly and decidedly opposed to any insane movements, such as South Carolina has inaugurated. The Union and the Constitution must be maintained. We see very clearly from the tone of the Richmond Enquirer and Examiner that they are ready to inflame the minds of the people of Virginia, and excite a degree of alarm and a state of feeling, totally inconsistent with the interests of Virginia as a border Sate, and at variance with her historic name as the great Key to the Arch of the Union. The time has come for the people to rise up in defence of their families and firesides, their property and their honor, and to rebuke every incipient step towards the destruction of the fairest fabric of constitutional liberty the world has ever known. Hereafter we shall more fully indicate our views and that of our people on this subject.