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Union or Secession
  • "All may yet go well"
The editor of the Lexington Valley Star revealed contradictory feelings about the March 4, 1861, inaugural address of President Abraham Lincoln.
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"All may yet go well"

Editorial in the Lexington Valley Star of March 14, 1861.

Abraham Lincoln took office as president of the United States and delivered his inaugural address on March 4, 1861. Virginians' reactions to the address ranged from enthusiasm to condemnation. The editor of the Lexington Valley Star reflected the mixed feelings of many Virginians by finding reasons for both hope and fear in the address. He concluded by writing, "If the Virginia Convention will immediately pass resolutions firmly in opposition to coercion, recommendatory of letting the seceded states go for the present—calling on the other States to hold Conventions and meet Virginia on the ground she assumes, and inviting a Conference of the Border Slave States immediately or as soon as practicable, all may yet go well and the Union be saved and reconstructed."

Editorial in the Lexington Valley Star of March 14, 1861.

The Inaugural.
There are people here and elsewhere terribly frightened at Lincoln's Inaugural. We think their fright unfounded and unnecessary. We think with Senator Douglas that it is eminently peaceful, although it is cunning and jesuitical to an extent unworthy of so high a functionary. Not having the moral courage and disinterested patriotism to rise altogether above party, Mr. Lincoln has shaped his Inaugural to conciliate those who put him in power, so as not entirely to lose their confidence and support, at the same time he has endeavored to satisfy the Border Slave States that he means not to involve them in civil strife. We have heard from high authority that Lincoln will do nothing more in regard to the forts, &c., than will prevent foreign powers from recognizing the independence of the Seceded States before the United States does. That he will not reinforce or repossess, but just hold on as things now are. If he does this there need be no blood shed, no war, no further Secession. Now if the Virginia Convention will immediately pass resolutions firmly in opposition to coercion, recommendatory of letting the seceded states go for the present—calling on the other States to hold Conventions and meet Virginia on the ground she assumes, and inviting a Conference of the Border Slave States immediately or as soon as practicable, all may yet go well and the Union be saved and reconstructed.