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Union or Secession
  • "Our Convention hesitates to secede"
On March 15, 1861, the editor of the Staunton Vindicator expressed his impatience with the Virginia Convention for not seceding at once.
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"Our Convention hesitates to secede"

Excerpt from an editorial in the Staunton Vindicator of March 15, 1861.

Eleven days after Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated president of the United States, the editor of the Staunton Vindicator expressed his impatience at the Virginia Convention for refusing to secede from the Union. In Augusta County in February the voters elected three firm opponents of secession to represent the county and the city of Staunton in the Virginia Convention, but the editor, like many other citizens, changed his mind during the spring. Although he had once counselled caution following Lincoln's election in November 1860, the editor angrily wrote in mid-March 1861, "Honor, freedom, justice, good faith, all are to be crushed under the Juggernaut of abolition villainy."

Excerpt from an editorial in the Staunton Vindicator of March 15, 1861.

Lincoln threatens coercion, yet our Convention hesitates to secede; the Peace Conference patch-work is repudiated by Congress, yet the Convention hesitates to secede, the starved forces of the Government are whistled from Fort Sumter, and thrown into Fortress Monroe or Washington city, yet the Convention hesitates to secede; the brand of infamy and inequality is ready to be impressed, hissing hot, into our flesh, yet the Convention hesitates to secede; the Southern Confederation opens wide its gates and beseeches Virginia to take her stand under the folds of that banner which bears upon it the blessed motto of Constitutional freedom and State equality, yet the Convention hesitates to secede. Are the Freemen of Virginia ready to acknowledge the inequality and inferiority of their State?— Have they prepared their minds to witness the most revolting spectacle ever yet presented to the gaze of civilization—the voluntary abandonment, by representatives of a free people, of all that ennobles humanity and elevates social existence? Honor, freedom, justice, good faith, all are to be crushed under the Juggernaut of abolition villainy.