Thursday, March 31, 2011

1861 March 30 House of Delegates, Richmond, Va.

Speech of Joseph Segar, esq., of the York district in the House of Delegates

I call you to witness, Mr. Speaker, that hitherto I have been
strictly silent as to the great questions of federal import that
have been discussed off and on during the session; but the ex-
traordinary resolutions which have been sent us from the Sen-
ate forbid my longer silence. They direct the Governor to
seize and hold, by military force, the property of the United
States, and I cannot sustain them. I would--so help me, God!
--sooner die in my seat that cast my vote for them.

I maintain, first, that there is no adequate cause for the in-
tense excitement which has sprung from this matter, and, of
course, no necessity for the adoption of the resolutions; sec-
ondly, that we have no moral nor legal right to pass them;
thirdly, that the seizure will be an act of war; and, finally,
that the great alarm pervading the country, and the revolu-
tionary action of the secession party in this State and of the
States actually seceded, find no just warrant in the facts of the

Beyond all this, I desire to be informed what wrong has
been done me, or any citizen of the South...
by that Federal Government which some regard as ac-
cursed, and which they so hurry to destroy. I, for one, am
not aware of any. If there be any law on the Federal statute-
book impairing the right of one Southern man, or impeaching
the equality of the Southern States with the Northern, let it be
pointed out. ....I appeal to you, Mr. Speaker,
to the gentleman from Madison, Gen. Kemper, to my ardent
disunion friend from Stafford, Mr. Seddon, to all the confessed
secessionists in this body, and to all such outside of this body,
to put their finger on one Federal law in the least degree in-
fringing the constitutional rights of the South. If it exist,
let me see it, that I may recant the error....

But I do wish to inquire of my colleagues, if they have
seriously reflected on the consequences of secession, should it

Do you expect (as I have heard some of you declare) that
the power and influence of Virginia are such that you will
have peaceable secession, through an immediate recogni-
tion of the separate independence of the South? Alas! you
hug a delusion.

Peaceable secession--secession without war!...
No! Secede when you will, you will have war in all
its horrors: there is no escape....

In my judgment, there is no safety for this institution [slavery] save
in the Constitution of the United States. There it is recog-
nized and protected. No other property is specially pro-
tected. Slaves are represented; no other proprty is. This
Union of ours is the great bulwark of slavery. No where
else has it flourished; and break up the Union when you
will, you knock away its strongest prop. A Southern Con-
federacy will be to it its deadliest blast, if not its grave.
The whole civilized world is intensely hostile to slavery;
and the moment a new confederacy is formed, based on the
single idea of slavery, numerous and malignant antagonisms
will be provoked which may endanger the institution. But
under the shield of the Constitution of the United States, these
antagonisms, whether foreign or domestic, are, and ever will
be, harmless....
Thus secure under the wing of the Union, why shall we risk its security
by rushing on untried experiments?....

For what, then, are we plunging into the dark
abyss of disunion? In God's name tell me. I vow I do not
know, nor have I ever heard one sensible or respectable rea-
son assigned for this harsh resort. We shall lose every-
thing; gain nothing but war, blood, carnage, famine, starva-
tion, social desolation, wretchedness in all its aspects, ruin in
in all its forms....We shall gain the hardest times the people of
this once happy country have known this side the War f
Independence. I know not, indeed, of one single interest of
Virginia that will not be wrecked by disunion. And, enter-
taining these views, I do shrink with horror from the very
idea of the secession of the State. I can never assent to the
fatal measure. No! I am for the Union yet. Call me submis-
sionist or traitor, or what else you will, I am for the Union.

Monday, March 28, 2011

1861 March 27 Richmond, Va.

Dear Sister,

I have not heard from you
since I left home; but, thank God, with a
vigorous constitution, I have been able to bear
up and have been enjoying tolerable good
health.--My reason for not enjoying my
Christmas with you was on account of
a trifling difficulty I had, and I was conse-
quently confined during Christmas week.
I do earnestly hope this may find you all

I can hardly be home before about
the 1st of June; but I want you to answer
this letter by the 13th of April, as I expect to
leave here about that time.

The Convention setting in this city
with regard to secession or no-secession
still claims a large portion of the people's
attention, but the fact is, they have done no-
thing yet except to squander near a
hundred thousand dollars of money for the
State.--A large part of the delegates are
certainly most consummate fools and worse

[page 2]
drunkards.--One day we have strong secession
talk and the next opposition talk, but
the general impression is that Virginia will
ultimately secede, and join the other Southern
States, which will be the signal for war
if the North desires it--South Carolina has
been for over a month making preparations
for war, and is daily expected to strike
the first blow.--She has bought several hun-
dred thousand dollars of cannon, cannon balls,
shot, and shell in this city, and had them
sent on to Charleston.--Let us hope for
the best, if the worst does come.

Give Miss Nancy my love, and tell
her I have not forgotten her, and hope it will
not be long before I see her.

Give my love to mother, and all en-
quiring friends.

When you write, let me know all
who have married, and all the news about
Do not forget to answer soon, and di-
rect your letter to "J. W. Parrish, Rich-
mond City, Va." and it will come safe to

Yours, truly,
J. W. Parrish

Thursday, March 24, 2011

1861 March 22 Recess

Dear Genl. [John H. Cocke]

P.S. I am truly sorry that we were disap
pointed in the action of our Virginia Convention.
Secession is in a minority & likely to be in one
unless the Lincoln (or rather Seward)
administration attempt coercion, then
we may secede, & arrest but too late I
fear to prevent a serious collision. Would
that she had gone out of the Union
before the 4th Mar., as events seem to show
that that would have been her true

[A. L. Brent]

MSS 640

1861 March 22 University of Virginia

Messrs Editors:

The Spirit of Secession is rampant here. Last
Friday -- one week ago -- the sun rose upon the flag
of the Southern Confederacy floating from the top
dome of the Rotunda of the University. As soon as
it was discovered the news spread like wild fire over
college and soon the morning air resounded with
"Hurrah for the Southern Confederacy." The students
collected in large numbers upon the lawn during
the early part of the day. Prof. Bledsoe came out
and while exprressing himself as heartily endorsing
the sentiments designed to they it manifested, reques-
ted that the flag might be quietly taken down,
as the faculty could not allow it to remain over
State property. Fifty students instantly ascended
to the roof of the Rotunda and the flag was brought
down upon the lawn where it was received with
outbursts of applause. Speeches were made & the
flag finally borne off to "Carr's Hill" to the tune of

The verdict of the Public was that on the night
previous -- the night of the Ides of March -- access

[page 2]
was obtained through a series of four doors -- barred
and bolted -- to the top of the Rotunda "by some
person or persons unknown" and the banner of
Southern hopes -- the three stripes & seven stars --
flung to the breeze for the first time in Albemarle
County. -- It is whispered by "those who know"
that it was a band of seven of the "Carr's Hill
boys" who conceived & executed the plan. This
happened on Friday & before Monday 8 or 9 secession
flags were flying in different parts of College.
This afternoon there was a grand flag raising at
one of the boarding houses. At half past four
oclock the Southern Guard, -- a company lately
formed & composed of students -- marched down
to the scene of festivity in full uniform, with music
playing, & numbering about 70 muskets. --
The flag, after being drawn up, was unfurled by
a little girl attired as the Goddess of Liberty. As
it gracefully unfolded to the breeze, "the Guard" fired
a salute of seven rounds by sections in quick
succession, the band playing "Dixie." After the
usual speeches the Guard marched off to drill
upon the lawn & the crowd dispersed.

The Sons of Virginia & of the South ^"Maryland" are true to her honor ^'the South.

To the Editors of the Exchange--

Albert T. Bledsoe (1809-1877), professor of mathematics and the University of Virginia, afterwards served as Assistant Secretary of War for the Confederacy, and later edited the Southern Review. Author of "An essay on liberty and slavery" and "Is Davis a traitor; or Was secession a constitutional right previous to the war of 1861?

According to W. G. Bean in Stonewall's Man Sandie Pendleton law professor John B. Minor looked at the flag and muttered "Flag of my country, can it be, that in they place a rag I see."

In his memoirs Soldier's recollections, leaves from the diary of a Confederate Randolph H. McKim admitted to being one of the Carr's Hill Seven.

MSS 15097

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

1861 March 15 New York, N.Y.

A POEM COMPRISING A FEW THOUGHTS SUGGESTED BY THE Assault on our glorious Flag IN 1860-'61.


Our glorious flag was waving,
'Twas floating in the air,
Amid songs of victory
When Washington was there....

Farewell of our glorious dead,
In solemn tone we hear:
Preserve that flag, our Union,
Ever to freemen dear....

Oh! let that banner ever wave
On yonder southern shore;
Oh! do not stain its history
In Christian brother's gore.

The country Washington left us
In freemen's sacred name---
Dare we destroy this great fabric,
Defile his spotless fame?....

The patriot Webster asked
With love of greatness true,
The veil might not in his day rise
His country's shame to view.

Crittenden with heroic zeal
And holy ardor pleads,
To save his wreck'd country's honor
Till hope unblest recedes.

Scott asks the aid of an armed host
Many brave hearts to chill;
Ambition often prompts a chief
The scroll of fame to fill....

To Douglas hopeful trust now looks,
The one of giant mind,
The statesman bold, our country's friend,
A healing balm to find....

These trial days of our country
Bring no sunshine morrow;
Once bright its national sky,
Now o'ercast in sorrow....

Has party strife dimm'd the brightness
Of the heroic past,
Rushing like a storm our country
On destruction fast?....

That Union flag is trailing
Its memories in the dust,
One by one its stars are going
An unknown fate to trust....

Are our statesmen degenerate?
Unequal to the issue,
A country to save or perish,
Or an abstract issue?

As Americans, we know no
Locality, no Southern,
But America, our country,
Americans, our brethren.

No party, no shrine no section,
Of one Union part,
But invincible royalty,
Love of country in heart.


Barrett PS 586 .Z93 .P84 1861

1861 March 14 Virginia State Convention, Richmond

Ex-President Tyler resumed his remarks, and said:

(a lengthy examination of the unfavorable/unacceptable terms of the Peace Convention in Washington)

Now, Mr. President, I want seriously to know of this Convention, what are you going to do? You cannot stand still....Events are moving too rapidly around you....You must do something. and what is that something? On one day there comes forth a smile from the White House; but, lo! the next day it is chased away with a frown. On one day we hear that Fort Sumpter [sic] is to be abandoned--the next that the Star of the West with supplies is ready to sail from Hew York for some point on the Southern coast. I would fain hope that the news is authentic that Fort Sumter is to be evacuated and that that gallant man, Major Anderson, is to be relieved from a condition which becomes more desperate every day....

And a newspaper paragraph announced that Gen. Scott has been studying out a plan by which Fort Sumter can be reinforced. This paragraph I do not altogether credit, because I do ot believe that the old war-worn chieftain, although he may have lost some of the chivalric spirit which formerly illustrated his character and his fame, has yet gone to that desperate extremity of trying by shift and cunning to accomplish what noble-hearted men will ever try to accomplish only by direct action. Mr. President, I wish not only tat Fort Sumter and Fort Pickens might be abandoned, but that the President would lift himself up to a higher and loftier pinnacle of statesmanship and at once yield to the propriety of a recognition of the Southern Confederacy. A commercial treaty and a treaty of alliance offensive and defensive with them, would save much of the Union under which we have all lived so long and happily. If all cannot be saved, save as much as can be saved, even of the fragments; for every fragment will be a gem glorious and priceless....

I stand up for our rights as the only way to vindicate them. Watchman, what time of the night? the hour has almost struck. Put down your ultimatum, and don't stop there. Go a little further. You have already reported an anti-coercion bill. Let it be strong; let there be no sort of reserve upon its face. Let it say to these gentlemen in Washington as King Canute said to the waters of the great deep, "Thus far, and no farther." Arrest their warlike movements, if possible. Go a step further. Insist upon the observance of the statu quo precisely as it is. Not an additional man to garrison Fortress Monroe; not another to Harper's Ferry; not another to Fort Washington; not another at the city of Washington. Do that and you will do right. Then you can give time, reasonable time, for action on your ultimatum. Revolutions never go backward. Ponder on this and be ready....

Sir, I am done. I know that I have presented my views to you most feebly. I have presented them, however, with all the frankness with which one Virginian should talk to another upon this great occasion. You have much more wisdom than I possess. I look with fear and trembling, to some extent, at the condition of my country. But I do want to see Virginia united--I wish to see her carrying her head as she carried it in former times. The time was, when she did not fear. I have entire confidence that her proud crest will yet be seen waving in that great procession of States that go up to the temple to make their vows to maintain their liberties, "peaceably if they can, forcibly if they must." Sir, I am done.

AB v. 64

Monday, March 14, 2011

1861 March 13 Virginia State Convention, Richmond

Speech of Hon. John Tyler, ex-president of the United States

Mr. President, an aged man who had retired from the pursuits of busy life, surrounded by those comforts which should most properly surround one whose life had been spent in the public service..was startled from his quietude and repose, by a voice which came from the legislative halls of his native State, admonishing him of danger to the country, and making a requisition for all of energy that still remained with him, either physically or mentally, in the effort to rescue that country from the imminent peril that threatened it. It was the voice of Virginia, appealing, sir, to a son....The voice which startled me in my retirement, told me of feud, and discontent, and discord--of a tearing in twain of that beautiful flag which had floated so triumphantly over us in the days gone by, which I had never looked upon but my heart had throbbed with an emotion it is impossible for me to give utterance to. The Father of his Country had left behind an admonition to his children to avoid sectional feuds, but those feuds had arisen and had progressed, until they had culminated in disunion. I had seen their beginning, sir, thirty years before, when the dark cloud which now overspreads the hemisphere just rose above the horizon, no bigger than a man's hand. It was the cloud of Abolitionism. ...
Where is that Union now which we once so much loved? Where its beautiful flag which waved over a land of wealth, of grandeur, and of beauty? Wrong, abuse, contumely, unconstitutional acts, looking to higher law than the Constitution, thus setting men free from their obligations to society, have cut the ship of State loose from her moorings, and here she is drifting without helm or compass, amid rocks and whirlpools, her fragments floating in every direction--one part has gone Sough, while other parts moored for this moment, will probably at the next, break lose from their insecure anchorage. I grieve over this state of things, by day and by night. when I think of the manner in which all this has been brought about by a race of hungry, artful Catalines, who have misled the Northern mind solely for their own aggrandizement, my blood becomes so heated in my veins as to scald and burn them in its rapid flow.

[Tyler then reviews the various proposals of the Peace Conference concluding that they are not favorable to the South. He will resume his arguments on March 14]

1861 March 11 Johnsontown Virginia

Dear Tom (Thomas M. Scott)

I received your letter a few days
ago-& embrace this opportunity to respond.
I have just returned from Court,had quite
a spirited time. Messrs Spady[?], Fletcher[?] and
others delivered a speech in behalf of Southern
Rights, The Volenteers of the County turned out
in pompous array--They shot at target
for a beautiful Rosete & Bily Mapp
had the honour to bear it victoriously
through the streets, Fighting and drunken
-ness were as common as on any occasion
I ever witnessed. March Courts are noted for this.
Well Tom, I had the exquisit pleasure of
riding with your Lady love on sunday
I turned out in new carriage & gave
her the honour of being the first lady
to ride in it, I tell you I had quite a
nice time. Read keeps up the same lick
went last Sunday night at 7 o'clock but she
had returnd I tease them a great deal about
it, Tom. I took your letter out to show her
what you said concerning her messages
& she snatched it out of my hand & went
out & read it all.

[page 2]
she found out that I requested you to write to
her & that I thought she would give you a
favorable Response, I certainly hated it, I
told her & offered her every thing I could think
of not to read it, but read it she would

Peggy Denton Annie Downing & others are going
down to see her on Friday. I of course
will be around. We were all down to
Old Man Bily Harmansons last Friday night
Roberts & myself staid all night, & was caught
in the rain & did not leave 'til Saturday
near at night, we had quite a fine time,
Miss Mollie Dalby is quite a Belle in our
neighbourhood. Jno Roberts is among the list
of her admirers. what think you of his chanc?
Clay report says is kicked, I do not much
believe it.

Well Tom I imagine you have ^'read' Lincolns
inaugural, what think you of it?
It is a matter of much discussion here
Some of the Whigs say "it is an able thing"
& that he will make a President far surpass-
ing old Buck. Though I do not think
that Buck discharges his duties to the satisf-
action of his supporters, still I think his
administration was by far better than any
guarantees Lincoln has given for us to
expect from him, and I think persons
who says that he is better for the South

[page 3]
do not differ materealy in principal
from him-- I believe that if the people
of Northampton were in a burning ship
they would quarrel about politics before
they extinguish the flames, I think they beat
the world in this respect -- You asked me
how L and myself were progressing? I
believe about so so We are still engaged
and have been for some time,but when
the Knot is to be tied, I have no idea
It may be in a short time or nevr Things
of this kind you know is very uncertain.
the nearer I come to marying the less
I think about it Sometimes I almost
determin never to marry. Dont you think
it a good idea not to? If a man could
get such a wife as his fancy could
picture out, it would be quite a different
thing, but marying at random is like
buying a pig in the bag--very likely to
get bit--When you come home I want you
to try your hand in the direction of
Myrtle Greer[?] If you think you can do nothing
by writing you may accomplish much
by your presence--at least I want you
to try. "Faint Heart you know never won
Fair Lady" Tom excuse this badly written
letter & answer it soon.
Ever your True Friend George R. Mapp

George Richard Mapp, 1835-1916
later Superintendent of Public Schools, Northumberland County, Va.

Friday, March 11, 2011

1861 March 11 Milledgeville

Constitution of the Confederate States of America
Ten thousand copies ordered by the Georgia State Convention

We, the people of the Confederate States, each State
acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order
to form a permanent federal government, establish justice,
insure domestic tranquility and secure the blessings of lib-
erty to ourselves and our posterity--invoking the favor and
guidance of Almighty God--do ordain and establish this
Constitution for the Confederate States of America.

From Article I Section 3
Representatives and Direct Taxes shall be apportioned
among the several States which may be included within this
Confederacy, according to their respective numbers, which
shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free
persons, including those bound to service for a term of years,
and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all slaves...
The number of
Representatives shall not exceed one for every fifty thousand,
but each State shall have at least one Representative; and
until such enumeration shall be made, the State of South
Carolina shall be entitled to choose six; the State of Geor-
gia ten; the State of Alabama nine; the State of Florida
two; the State of Mississippi seven; the State of Louisiana
six; and the State of Texas six.

From Article 1 Section 9
1. The importation of negroes of the African race, from
any foreign country, other that the slaveholding States or
Territories of the United States of America, is hereby for-
bidden; and Congress is required to pass such laws as shall
effectually prevent the same.

2. Congress shall also have power to prohibit the intro-
duction of slaves from any State not a member of, or Terri-
tory not belonging to this Confederacy.

11. No title of nobility shall be granted by the Confed-
erate States; and no person holding any office of profit or
trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress,
accept of any present, emolument, office or title of any
kind whatever from any king,prince or foreign State.

12. Congress shall make no law respecting an establish-
ment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,
or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the
right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the
government for a redress of grievances.

13. A well regulated militia being necessary to the
security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and
bear arms shall not be infringed.

Article II.
Section 1.
a. The executive power shall be vested in a President of
the Confederate States of America. He and the Vice-Presi-
dent shall hold their offices for the term of six years: but
the President shall not be re-eligible.

Article III.
Section 3.
1. Treason against the Confederate States shall consist
only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their
enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be
convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two wit-
nesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open

Article IV.
Section 2.
3. No slave or other person held to service or labor in any
State or Territory of the Confederate States, under the laws
thereof, escaping or lawfully carried into another, shall, in
consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged
from such service or labor; but shall be delivered up on
claim of the party to whom such slave belongs, or to whom
such service or labor may be due.

Section 4. The Confederate States shall guaranty to every State
that now is or hereafter may become a member of this Con-
federacy, a republican form of government, and shall pro-
tect each of them against invasion; and on application of
the Legislature (or of the Executive when the legislature is
not in session) against domestic violence.

Extract From the Journal of the Congress
Congress, March 11, 1861
On the question of the adoption of the Constitution of
the Confederate States of America, the vote was taken by
yeas and nays; and the Constitution was unanimously
adopted, as follows:

Those who voted in the affirmative being Messrs. Walk-
er, Smith, Curry, Hale, McRae, Shorter and Fearn, of
Alabama, (Messrs. Childton and Lewis being absent;) Messrs.
Morton, Anderson and Owens, of Florida; Messrs. Toombs,
Howell Cobb, Bartow, Nisbet, Hill, Wright, Thomas R.
R. Cobb and Stephens, of Georgia, (Messrs. Crawford and
Kenan being absent;) Mesrs. Perkins, de Clouet, Conrad,
Kenner, Sparrow and Marshall, of Louisiana; Messrs.
Harris, Brooke, Wilson, Clayton, Barry and Harrison, of
Mississippi (Mr. Campbell being absent); Messrs. Rhett,
Barnwell, Keitt, Chesnut, Memminger, Mills, Withers and
Boyce, of South Carolina; Messrs. Reagan, Hemphill,
Waul, Gregg, Oldham and Ochiltree, of Texas (Mr. Wig-
fall being absent.)

A1861 .C446 C6

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

1861 March 8 Richmond, Va.

Speech of Hon. William C. Rives, on the proceedings of the Peace Conference and the State of the Union

....Fellow-citizens, the time has come for reason, for deliberation, for sober and wise discretion. At whose bidding is Virginia to go out? At that of South Carolina, whose occupation, for months past, to taunt, to revile, to depreciate her? At that of the other Cotton States, who rashly followed the example of South Carolina in renouncing the ties which bound her to her sister States, and without the slightest regard to the well-known opinions of Virginia, plunged the country into revolution and anarchy, of which the annihilation of a thousand millions of the national wealth and capital, and the universal derangement and distress which have attended it, grave as these evils are not to be counted as the most serious consequences?

If the seceded States had not deserted Virginia and the other border slave States in a manly constitutional struggle for the security and vindication of their common rights; if they had remained, with undismayed firmness at their posts in the national councils; reinforced by that noble and gallant body of men in the North, who have ever stood by the South in its demand of constitutional equality and justice, they would have had the absolute control of the Government, through the Legislative department -- have repelled every encroachment...and rendered the experiment of a sectional administration far too barren and thorny ever to be thought of again. And all this would have been accomplished by peaceful constitutional agencies....

Now that Virginia has been so cruelly, not to say wantonly abandoned by the cotton States in this great constitutional struggle in a common cause, her first duty is to look, with calm and collected composure, to her own true position, as it is prescribed to her by the consideration of her own interest and honor....

When the Union shall be dissolved, as is proposed, by the line which separates the slaveholding from the non-slaveholding Staes, and Virginia finds herself in immediate contact with or in close proximity to states that would then be foreign States to her, without either the obligation or the disposition to surrender fugitive slaves, what prospect could she have of retaining that ...labor? Would not such a state of things be virtually a proclamation of freedom, which...would deprive her wholly of her slaves?

How could she and her sister border slave States sustain the collisions and wars that would follow, along a frontier of several thousand miles, without a crushing weight of military establishments and of taxes that would be alike fatal to their liberties, ruinous to their re-
sources, and destructive to all the arts of civilization and peace?

...The great question for us, now, is what Virginia is to do? Shall she, too, secede, and renouncing all hope or wish for the preservation of the Union, become the tail of a Southern Confederacy?

...She cannot, then, without blotting out all her past history, now join in the unnatural work of subverting those glorious institutions which she has had so large and noble a part in building up and strengthening. Her heart, her mind, her best efforts in the council and the field, have ever been devoted to the great cause of American, Continental liberty and Union....Her Washington, her Jefferson, her Madison, her Pendleton, her Wythe, her Marshall, and a long list of her illustrious sons have spent the prime of their days in laboring for the development of a high, national destiny, one and indivisible, and their last prayers have been breathed for the perpetuity of the American Union.

But if, in an ill-omened hour, she shall incline to other counsels, let her remember that the process of dissolution and division once commenced has no assignable limits--that a new and separate Confederacy, sprung from secession, must soon fall to pieces under the operation of the same disintegrating principle--that endless feuds and strifes will follow--and that we have no warrant for believing that the laws of history, as we read them in the throes and convulsions of revolutionary France, or in the anarchy and turbulence of our Mexican and South American neighbors, will be suddenly reversed in our favor.

McGregor A 1861 .R44

Monday, March 7, 2011

1861 March 7 Richmond, Virginia

Speech of John S. Carlile of Harrison in the Virginia State Convention

Mr. President, in this the hour of our country's peril, when the strength of our system of government is being severely tested, I should be slow to believe that any but patriotic emotions could influence the members of this body. Candor and frankness, therefore, should characterize our discussions, and a love of country alone should influence our deliberations. In this spirit I enter upon this discussion.

The resolutions before the Convention are designed, and if adopted will have the effect, to place Virginia in hostility to the Federal Government, which Federal Government is Virginia's government. In other words, to commit Virginia to a war against herself, and to connect her with the Cotton States, so as to share with them the disastrous consequences that may flow from the rebellious attitude assumed for them and in their name, by the men who for the time have the control of their respective State Governments.

...The people that I have the honor in part to represent, have not been seized with this frenzied madness which has seized our friends in other parts of the Commonwealth, to induce adopt a cowardly course, to run away and give up all their inheritance in this great country....Sir, we know we have the protection of our common Constitution; we know that that flag is ours, we know that the army is ours; we know that the navy is ours; we know that in any battle in defence or our rights, fifteen hundred thousand gallant voters in the non-slaveholding States will rush to our assistance, and under the stars and stripes will hurl from power any and all who dare to take advantage of the position they have obtained to our injury or oppression. We cannot reconcile secession with our notions of Virginia's chivalry and Virginia's courage. But we know, Mr. President....that this Government we are called upon to destroy has never brought us anything but good....

But Mr. President, we have heard a great deal here about equal rights--that's the expression, I believe. I never heard it specified what the rights were. We have heard a great deal about "rights," but very little about "duties." "Rights" are in every man's mouth--"duties" are never alluded to.....

I have been a slaveholder from the time I have been able to buy a slave. I have been a slaveholder, not by inheritance, but by purchase and I believe that slavery is a social, political and religious blessing....

How long, if you were to dissolve this Union--if you were to separate the slaveholding from the non slaveholding States--would African slavery have a foothold in this portion of the land? I venture the assertion that it would not exist in Virginia five years after the separation...How could it maintain itself, with the whole civilized world, backed by what they call their international law, arrayed for its ultimate extinction...Think you that ever another square mile of territory can be acquired by a purely slaveholding Republic? You would have not only the North to prevent you, but England, France and Spain....

What right has ever been denied? Haven't you equal rights in the Territories? Has not this very Government, that you are going to overthrow, declared that you have? Haven't you equal rights, as States, in the Federal Government?...then what has been denied you? Put your finger upon the right that has been taken away from you. What right has been denied in this Government? Wherein does this inequality consist? May it not be, gentlemen--and I ask it with all kindness--may it not be that you have mistaken party platforms for the Constitution of the United States, and the action of individual parties for the action of the Federal Government?...

Sir, can any man believe that in case of a dissolution of the Union, we would enjoy anything like the freedom, the liberty and equality which we now enjoy under this General Government of ours? Could we maintain ourselves without a strong military force kept up at an enormous and exhausting expense? We are now under the Union, and in the Union, the freest, the most independent, and the happiest people on earth. Dissolve the Union, and a military despotism, the licentiousness of the camp and ragged poverty will be substituted in its place.

And now, Mr. President, in the name of our own illustrious dead, in the name of all the living, in the name of millions yet unborn, I protest against this wicked effort to destroy the fairest and the freest Government on the earth. And I denouce all attempts to involve Virginia to commit her to self-murder as an insult to all reasonable living humanity, and a crime against God. With the dissolution of this Union, I hesitate not to say, the sun of our liberties will have set forever.

The slave holding John Snyder Carlile (1817-1878) voted against the Ordinance of Secession which he called a "crime against God." He later served as one of the first U. S. Senators from West Virginia.

E 534 .C27

Sunday, March 6, 2011

1861 March 6th



Ran away from the subscriber on the

6th inst., negro man Albert, aged about

40 years, black and about 5 feet 9 or

10 inches high. His left hand has been

very much injured from the chop of an

axe across it. He wears whiskers. He

had on when left home, an old pair of

pantaloons of a brown color, an old

full cloth coat, and an old hat, thought proba-

bly he may shift his clothing consisting of a

new jeans frock coat, and pantaloons a red-

dish brown, and other pairs of full cloth pants.

It is believed he will make towards Wash-

ingon city as he was taken from there once


I will pay the above reward if taken in any adjoining county to

Rappahannock, and the same or the legal fee if it be more if taken

in Washington city and secured so that I can get him again.

My Post Office is Flint Hill, Rappahannock County, Virginia.

Eastham Jordan

Saturday, March 5, 2011

1861 March 5 Norfolk and Petersburg R.R. Co., Suffolk, Va.

H.L. Hopkins Esq.
Atty &c. Petersburg, Va.

Dear Sir,
Your favor of the 23d ulto.
came duly to hand, but in the mean time
have been absent for several days, or wd
then promptly have it my attention.
I am aware that the late Dr. Spencer render'd
continued and important medical treatment
to one James Whitney, who was at the time
in the employ of this Company as a hireling
but I am no aware of this Companys respon-
sibility for such services, beyond perhaps, Dr.
Spencers first visit in the case.

I had previous occasion to examine into

[page 2]
the circumstances...connected with
this matter and I find them to be these --
the Boy Whitney in a negro, but of a white
woman. at the time was hired by the year
of his mother, to whom was given the Compys
Bond for the amo. thereof. This Bond in the
meant time was traded off and has since
been paid by the Company.

The Boy was employed as Fireman upon the
Road and was run over by a part of
a train of cars to which he was at the time
attached, and severely injured. When the
accident occurred Dr. Spencer was sent for
by our agent Wm. M. Gordon Esq of
Petersbrg. Mr. Gordon informed Dr. Spencer on this
and subsequently that the Boy was
a Free-Boy. Immediately after the accident
and until the recovery of the boy his mother

[page 3]
was with him, receiving and carrying out
the instructions of Dr. S.

Under these circumstances and facts of the
case, I do not understand that this Road
is responsible to Doctor Spencer's estate,
beyond, perhaps, the extent I have already
indicated herein. It was not designed
or authorized by any proper officers
of the compy that the Road should be----

I am gratified at your very
kind and complimentary reference to the
memory of my wifes parents, as she is as
well, and of your friendly remembrances
of her -- I shall esteem it a pleasure to
make your acquaintance the first oppor-
tunity I may have: and shall be happy to
see you at my home whenever you are in
this city. yrs. truly &c.

MSS 7749-g
William Mahone