Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia
THIS PAGE HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Abraham Lincoln is Inaugurated on March 4

Union or Secession
previous page
  • Report from the missing issue of the Norfolk <em>Day Book</em> for January 26, 1861, reprinted in the <em>Charleston (S.C.) Mercury</em>, January 30, 1861.,
    "What means this hot haste?"
  • John P. Pleasants to Benjamin Franklin Gravely, February 18, 1861, Gravely Family Papers, Acc. 34126, Library of Virginia.,
    "Less hopeful than we were"
  • Speech of Miers W. Fisher, of Northampton County, in the Virginia Convention on March 2, 1861, printed in George H. Reese and William H. Gaines, Jr., eds., <em>Proceedings of the Virginia State Convention of 1861</em> (Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1965), 1:338–339.,
    "Before the fourth of March"
  • Speech of John Randolph Chambliss in the Virginia Convention, March 4, 1861, printed in George H. Reese and William H. Gaines, Jr., eds., <em>Proceedings of the Virginia State Convention of 1861</em> (Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1965), 1:347–348.,
    "Virginia should step forth to-day"
  • Editorial in the <em>Daily Richmond Enquirer</em>, March 5, 1861.,
    "Civil war must now come"
  • Editorial in the Wheeling <em>Daily Intelligencer</em>, March 6, 1861.,
    Lincoln's inaugural
  • Editorial in the Lexington <em>Valley Star</em> of March 14, 1861.,
    "All may yet go well"
  • Excerpt from an editorial in the <em>Staunton Vindicator</em> of March 15, 1861.,
    "Our Convention hesitates to secede"
  • Three news items from the <em>Alexandria Gazette</em>, March 20, 1861.,
    "Lincoln was burnt in effigy"
  • Lexington <em>Valley Star</em>, March 21, 1861.,
    "Improvements in Lexington"
next page
« Return to The Virginia Convention

Abraham Lincoln is Inaugurated on March 4

Abraham Lincoln took office as president of the United States on March 4, 1861. In his inaugural address, Lincoln stated that he had no desire to tamper with the domestic institutions of the South, but he also stated that his oath of office required him to enforce the laws and collect the taxes in all of the states and to hold onto the federal property such as arsenals and forts and navy yards. The speech was very unpopular in Virginia among men who approved of secession and also among men who opposed secession. Many delegates, including strong Unionists, informed the convention that if Lincoln attempted to use force to collect taxes or enforce federal laws in states that had seceded or to take possession of any of the forts that seceded states had seized or threatened, they would regard that action as making war on those states. Some opponents of secession suggested that under that circumstance they would support armed resistance to the federal government. Two very important federal military installations were in Virginia, the armory at Harpers Ferry and the navy yard at Portsmouth.

Featured Biographies:

prev
  • Peter Bock Borst (1826-1882)
  • John Randolph Chambliss (1809-1875)
  • John Brown Baldwin (1820-1873)
  • George William Brent (1821-1872)
  • Charles William Button (1822-1894)
  • Marshall Mortimer Dent (1828-1901)
  • John Janney (1798-1872)
next