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Union or Secession
  • "We are a strong advocate of the Union"
The editor of the Lexington Valley Star wrote on February 14, 1861, that his love for the Union did not make him a submissionist who would sacrifice white Southerners' constitutional rights.
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"We are a strong advocate of the Union"

Editorial in the Lexington Valley Star, February 14, 1861.

): In mid-February 1861, ten days after the election of delegates to the Virginia Convention and the opening of the national Peace Conference in Washington, D.C., the editor of the Lexington Valley Star responded to charges that men who were not in favor of immediate secession were necessarily going to submit to intolerable Northern demands. The editor wrote, "As much as we love the Union, we never entertained the most remote idea of compromising any of our rights in the Union." He concluded, "We are for demanding our constitutional rights, in the right way, and in the proper spirit," by which he did not mean immediate secession, "and if we cannot get them, be assured that you will not find us classed among the submissionists."

Editorial in the Lexington Valley Star, February 14, 1861.

Our Position.
It has been our object, throughout our entire editorial course, ever since the commencement of the agitation of the vexed questions that now so unhappily distract the minds of the people of this country, to prevent, if possible, a dissolution of these United States. And in doing so, we are aware that we have incurred the displeasure of some of our patrons, who have fancied to themselves that because we have been such a strong advocate of the Union, we must necessarily be a submissionist. Now, we would disabuse the minds of those who may entertain such an opinion of us. Our advocacy of the Union of these States, arises from the undeniable fact, of the unparalleled greatness and importance of the Confederation. Who is it that will stand up and deny that the Union of these States, has not been a blessing to the people of this favored land?— Is not our name honored among the nations of the earth?— What has given us rank and standing among the nations of the earth?— Is it the products of our land?— Is it the wealth of our land, or is it the wide spread expanse of our domain? No, none of these we answer.— What then? Well we will tell you. It is the confederation of these States, the perfect union of this mighty and prosperous people, that has placed us in the proud and commanding position we now occupy. Will any one undertake to deny this proposition? We think not. Who then is it that can see no good in perpetuating this Union? We glory in it not only on account of its beneficial results to man in a temporal point of view, but also to the security of the freedom of conscience. Are these blessing not worth contending for? What assurance have we with a divided confederacy, and a reconstruction of the constitution of the United States, that the same blessings will be meeted out to us? None whatever. Then, does it not call for our deliberate, calm and wise consideration? Most assuredly it does. But we are called a submissionist. And why?— Because we are a strong advocate of the Union.— Now, as much as we love the Union, we never entertained the most remote idea of compromising any of our rights in the Union. We have long thought upon this subject, and we have carefully observed the aggressive spirit of the Northern portions of the Confederacy, upon the institutions of the South, and now that the issue has come, we are for demanding our constitutional rights, in the right way, and in the proper spirit, and if we cannot get them, be assured that you will not find us classed among the submissionists.