Excerpt from editorial in Winchester Republican, October 26, 1860
"The great question to be decided is" wrote the editor of the Winchester Republican a little more than a week before the presidential election, "shall this Union be dissolved? or shall it be perpetuated? The voice of Virginia will go farther towards determining this question, at this critical period, than any State in the South."
The title of the Winchester Republican referred back to the Jeffersonian Republicans of the 1790s. In 1860, the editor of the newspaper supported Constitutional Union Party candidate John Bell for president, not Abraham Lincoln, the candidate of the new Republican Party founded in the mid-1850s. The editor also argued that if Virginia voted for Breckinridge, Southern extremists would endanger the Union.